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Do you really like your beer, or are you just a victim of Capitalist Propaganda? How you can learn how the free market works while you guzzle some suds, and how beer can help you to understand the vast conspiracy that is slowly degrading America.
TL;DR - I use the craft beer industry as a way to understand Capitalist Propaganda, how Capitalism and Socialism are inextricably linked to each other, and how through the use of propaganda, companies use the "illusion of choice" to coerce you into believing that you prefer the products that are most favorable to them. In order to change this into the consumer's favor, you need to be an informed consumer in the free market, and raise class consciousness to overthrow the tyranny of Capitalist Propaganda, that is called "Marketing". *************************************************************************************** You can't understand Capitalist Propaganda unless you have a solid understanding of what Capitalism is beyond the literal definition of the word, which is just an abstract ideal. Propaganda plays off of the discrepancies between the ideals of Capitalism, like the free market, which is another abstract ideal, and the reality of Capitalism in practice in America, which can be characterized as Trickle Down Economics. Capitalism sought to be a pragmatic alternative to its economic predecessors, a fact which drives Capitalist Propaganda. However, through layers of abstraction throughout the years, it has become more of a religion, as critics refer to the increasingly ideological concept as "Supply Side Jesus", meaning you give all the money to the rich, it'll trickle down to the poor, and they can "vote" on the actions of the capitalists through monetary interactions in the free market. Capitalist Propaganda is engrained in America, because at the time of our founding, Adam Smith wrote "Wealth of Nations", which is considered the Bible of the Free Market. This groundbreaking work utilized Newton's Laws of Physics, which were en vogue at the time, to describe how interactions in the marketplace would balance each other out, just as the laws of Newtonian Physics do. The very noble purpose of Wealth of Nations was not create the oligarchy we have today, but to do the opposite. He wanted to describe a system that would protect individual freedoms and be truly democratic. Just as Lenin and Stalin bastardized the works of Marx, so too have capitalists in America bastardized the intentions of Adam Smith. Capitalism and Socialism are best learned side by side, in my opinion, to avoid falling into the trappings of either ideology that our brains like to do. Which one is better? It depends on the market, but the answer is almost always somewhere in between. Through learning how Socialist concepts can be applied to problems in Capitalism, you can cut through the propaganda and will see for yourself that these problems can be solved if we just drop the labels and do what's best for society and the individual. The problem is always finding the proper balance. *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** WHAT? CAPITALISM AND SOCIALISM ARE JOINED AT THE HIP? Yep. You can never live in a pure economic system. Purity is always an illusion. If you want something to be pure, you have to put a lot of energy into making it that way. Nature likes to mix stuff up. This is why ideologies around racial purity and fascism always fail. There are people who want a "pure" economic system, but they are usually the people at the top and would only get richer from more purity while the rest of society loses freedom and slowly starves. In a nutshell, Capitalism promotes laws that benefit those with money, while Socialism promotes a safety net that benefits everyone. Every single human is born into Socialism. As a baby, you need food, someone else works for it and gives it to you, but then at some point, you are expected to exchange labor for capital, and buy your own food. See? The two are forever bound as the yin and yang. You can also grow your own food, but for that you need land, which is capital. These interactions are very tricky. I only want to tell you enough so that you can start to see Capitalist Propaganda, because right now, you're like a fish in water that can't see water. I often use this line to describe a person who can't see their own homegrown propaganda. The best way I found to study Capitalism is by relating it Socialism, the "air" above the "water" of Capitalism, if that makes sense. I always find it best to look at a microcosm to understand these concepts. And today, that microcosm is beer. Mmmm....Beeeeeeeeeerrrrrrr..... *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** CONFLICT OF INTEREST AND THE ILLUSION OF CHOICE Before I poison your mind with my own propaganda, picture you're on vacation and you walk into a bar and want to order a beer. If you really want to understand the power of propaganda in your own life, really think of this before we break this all down. Really think, what makes you decide which beer to order? Do you like to look at the labels on the tap or bottle? That's obvious propaganda. It has absolutely nothing to do with the taste or quality of the beer itself, but sways your opinion toward logos you've seen before, which is why you see so many beer advertisements, which means that money that could've gone into quality is instead going into propaganda, and you're already biased towards an inferior product. Interesting. You really can't help being swayed by marketing, but at least you can be conscious of that fact, and that's important in order to be an informed consumer. Do you ask the bartender for a recommendation? Why would you do that? You don't know the bartender any better than the beers in front of you. How do you know they aren't paid more to offer you a beer that sucks and is 12 years old and the owner wants to get rid of it? Do you ask for a certain style of beer? Do you ask for a local beer? And once you finally narrow it down to a few choices, do you ask for samples so you can make up your own mind? You should always do this. Then we get into "flavor propaganda", which we'll discuss later. Jeez. Did you every realize there was so much complexity behind being an informed consumer and just ordering a simple beer? Maybe you'll give in and just tell the bartender to pour whatever. Choice is difficult sometimes. If you really visualize this and take a minute to let this sink in, you'll start to understand how external forces hijack the processor in your mind to manufacture desire through the illusion of choice. However, your health and enjoyment of the beer is not the goal for these external forces, they only want you to purchase. The perfect example is fast food. They know their product sucks, but they know you'll keep buying it, but that doesn't keep them from lying about how delicious it is in their ads. There is far more at play behind the curtain. There is a science behind addicting you to things, this is reinforced by a corporate tax and subsidy system that contorts the free market pushing centralization of production through homogenization and use of chemicals to hide the homogenization, and simply because there is more than one option, they make you feel like you have choice. This, in a nutshell, is how the illusion of choice works in the free market. It's not about what YOU want. The producer manipulates you to think you want what they have. Through this, they deceive Americans into buying products with a list of ingredients that a person would never freely choose to consume. So if you want to order a beer with no shit in it, then you're shit out of luck in America. You could in Germany, but we'll discuss that later. While you're standing at that bar, you aren't conscious of the fact that your interests are in direct opposition to those of the bar owner's. Capitalists hide this fact with their perfect smiles, but Marx described this in detail. You want the best beer for the cheapest price, and the bar owner wants to sell you the cheapest beer at the highest price you'll pay. It doesn't stop there. The bar owner flips roles in the same situation with the beer distributor, who does the same with maybe another level of distribution, and continues to the brewer, then goes to the brewer versus supplier, supplier to farmer, and even though you'd think it stops there, the farmer has to deal with suppliers of equipment and seeds, and on and on. Add to this list their auxiliary staff of HR, drivers, managers, brewers, bottle/keg makers, and of course owners, none of them care whether you actually like the beer you're drinking as long as you keep buying more. That's the big driver here. Did you ever realize that every time you buy a beer, your own capital is partially responsible for creating and sustaining all of these jobs involved? You, my dear beer drinker, are the true job creator. Budweiser can brew all they want, it means nothing without buyers, who are the true engines of capitalism. Instead, you're treated as a rube by suits in a boardroom somewhere. Capitalist Propaganda tells us the billionaires are job creators, but this is a lie. Jeff Bezos can't drink enough beer to sustain all these jobs. So why do we let him hoard all the money? Wouldn't the economy do better if we spread out Jeff's money so more people could buy more beers and more jobs would be created? According to Socialist Economics, yes. That's actually, quite simply, a Socialist Free Market. Did you even know that existed? The power hungry greedy people who are too lazy for manual labor go to such great lengths to make sure you don't learn it. They want you to think that only Capitalism allows you choice in the market. I'm sure you can guess why they say that. Capitalism maintains itself by exulting the wealthy who use their economic power to punch down. The only way this system won't fall into fascism and fail is if the consumers start to punch back. Where Marx envisioned the Dictatorship of the Proletariat as they usurped power from the Bourgeoisie, a modern alternative is just teaching people to understand the system we live in, so that we can just start making changes in the way we live and to whom we give our money. See that? Capitalism and Socialism can get along nicely, so long as the consumers are informed. *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE ALIENATION OF LABOR CAUSING LONELINESS IN SOCIETY What I described within the previous section is what Marx called "Alienation of Labor". Each step in the process of making your beer is isolated from the others, so no one feels ownership over the end product or a true connection to the consumer, or job creator. Even the bartender selling it is alienated from the profit of their labor in serving the beer, so they only focus on the service aspect of giving you the beer, because that is where they earn their tip. They can't really fix anything about a shitty beer other than to offer you a different brand. The capitalist owner is usually not there. Their only interaction is setting the rules for everyone in the bar to follow, and pay themselves more than everyone who has to follow those rules. This is part of the conflict between the classes. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, I'm just pointing it out. The bar owner themself has to spend money on propaganda to attract customers that could be spent in other places, so has to find ways to cut costs. Unfortunately, they buy cheaper beer...and this is why you end up with IPAs. No one is connected to the products, so they only look at prices and find the cheapest, passable product. This is the race to the bottom of Capitalism. Compare this to when brewpubs were a new thing. The brewer would come out and talk to you about the beer, you would give feedback that could effect future batches and it connected everyone to each other through commerce. It makes business "social" and I think nearly everyone enjoys that, but it is losing out in competition with chain breweries that enforce isolation and make cookie cutter propaganda and cookie cutter business models so they can turn owners into managers and suck all the profit back their corporate headquarters and offshore accounts. They kill the experience and make everything transactional. And all the kitsch they hang around their cookie cutter chain bar is just to hide the fact that no one in that place cares about anything other than not getting fired. Everyone is effectually alienated from everyone else. It's worth a read to check out this page on Marx's Theory of Alienation. This alienation is the root of a lot of misery in society. Humans are communal animals forced to live in a society of individuality and alienation. As they mope around, they seek an escape. And that is why advertising is so nefarious. It seeks to manipulate you in that state. Imagine driving home from your alienating job to you empty home, but looking up and see a billboard with bunch of actors laughing and drinking beer. They take pictures that make these actors look like friends. It's just for show. They aren't selling beer to those laughing people in the picture. They're tempting lonely people to drown their sorrows. Capitalist Propaganda is used so your brain doesn't understand what it wants. It wants friends, then sees the words Bud Light. So when the bartenders asks...Make it a Bud Light. Look at how much money they spend to manipulate and capitalize on people's suffering. Propaganda in Communist countries is controlled by the government, so it's clear who the enemy of your freedom is. Capitalist Propaganda hides behind the layers of complexity of the same economy you rely on to survive, so you never know what's propaganda or where it's coming from. Marketers find every way imaginable to get their disinformation in front of your eyes, even enlisting your friends on Facebook in annoying MLM schemes. Propaganda invaded everything that can be legally monetized. It's in the media, and not just commercials anymore. There's product placement, stories injected into the news, and even movies and social media created an entire industry of "lifestyle propaganda", telling you how to live your life and indulge in overconsumption. It's REALLY hard to get away from Capitalist Propaganda. There is so much money and research behind it and so much depth, even this long post is only barely scratching the surface. I just want to open your eyes to it. I can't make you see all this. No one can. I can only describe it as best as I can. What you will experience when you understand this is what I call "Economic Enlightenment", similar to what Marx called "Class Consciousness". Once it happened to me, the world looked amazing, and the shitty propagandists selling us false hope all look like clowns in a very odd circus of vanity, despair and mediocrity. Once I understood this, I saw clearly how we are increasingly trapped in a form of Corporate Slavery, led by seriously ridiculous oligarchs like Mark Zuckerberg, who thinks he's the reincarnation of Augustus Caesar or something. That's why he has that haircut! This is a guy who stole a company and hired "screen psychologists" from Las Vegas to get you hooked on Facebook the same as casinos do with slot machines. He wants to be the funnel for propaganda throughout the world. He wants to be the kingmaker, decide what people buy, who they like, what views they hold. He can only do this because so many companies spend so much money to put their propaganda on that platform. They can only have this much money because the free market is not actually free. It's bought and paid for on platforms like Facebook and Amazon. The money that was supposed to "trickle down" is instead being spent on Capitalist Propaganda on these platforms, to get the proletariate to trickle their money up through endless, nonsensical online purchasing and local businesses who send the town's money to people who can't do anything with it but buy up properties that increase your rent and cost of living. When people get drunk on the power of propaganda, they forget the lessons of the past. Propagandists always fall prey to their own delusions over time. In reality, your life is better without Facebook. There isn't anything on there that is healthy. Even if you just want to talk to a few friends, you are going to fall for the propaganda there. You can't help it. And if your bar advertises on Facebook, just think, that money could've gone into purchasing higher quality beer then sold at the same price, instead of going to Mark Zuckerberg so he can drop $30 million to buy the houses around him so no one can spy on him while he spies on you. You really gotta watch out for a guy who combines spying and propaganda all into a single app and thinks he's going to bring 200 years of peace to America. History is littered with knuckleheads like that. It's best to get off Facebook and encourage everyone else to do the same. Zuck only wants to lead himself to the Promised Land, and he's using your ignorance to fuel his own delusions by deluding you into thinking you want what he has to offer. Let's get back to beer. *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** IPAs AND THE FREE MARKET VS THE RACE TO THE BOTTOM I like beer. When I worked in Germany, it was easy to walk into a bar and, like Farva, just order a liter o' beer. Often, there would only be two choices, light color or dark. As a matter of fact, even at the most famous beer festival in the world, Oktoberfest, people mostly drink the same standard type of beer, and no one complains about the lack of choice. It's quite easy. You can order with one finger. No need to see a menu or ask what's in it. It's simply beer. This worked for centuries. Consumers are fine with it. Prost! Have you ever shared a story like this and people say, "Oh, that would never work in America. Americans want choice." Yeah. Because we are flooded with Capitalist Propaganda. So if consumer choice isn't pushing for a selection, why would a free market call for it? Imagine there are two bars and one of those bars says "30 beers on tap" and the other doesn't. You're more likely to choose it, and the other bar will have to compete in some way, often by copying. This forms trends, and people mistake this for something customers wanted. Trends are always marketing. Don't believe me? What happened to fidget spinners? So now you have a bunch of beers that no one asked for, yet will now demand. Competition creates more Capitalist Propaganda to create demand for something you never even wanted, but makes you think you do. And that's the best propaganda. You think you are thinking for yourself. This is the fallacy of consumer choice. If you want to understand just how important that last paragraph is, consider this, "consumer choice" is the same propaganda they used to get you to carry around a device that spies on you 24/7 and sends that data to people you don't know, and you can't stop it, can you? You chose that. You wanted it. Not only that, but you paid $1,000 for the device to opt into their spying program, for the privilege of being mind controlled by the propaganda their AI selects for you. Did you read the Terms of Service? As bad as you may have thought Communist Propaganda was, Capitalist Propaganda is far better, and far stealthier. You believe you have freedom of choice. But your only choice is usually take it, or leave it. Oh, you need it for work? Maybe find a different job. Or just succumb to mass surveillance, and next year, you can drop another grand on a device with a marginally better camera. There is a way to free yourself. You just have to understand the nature of propaganda. It took me a while, but I eventually broke free. Under Socialism, there would be laws against the exploitation of consumers. Capitalist Propaganda tells you that this takes away your freedom. This is a lie. Regulations give you the freedom to not have to worry whether the beer you're drinking has poison in it. Germany has a lot of regulations on beer. It has the Reinheitsgebot (purity order), a law passed in 1516 that states that beer can only consist of water, hops and barley. Note, this is a different use of the word "purity" from earlier, as beer is itself a mixture of things. Historically there have also been regulations where beer could only be sold regionally, so no matter what part of Germany you were in, you only got a certain brand of beer at the bar, but it didn't matter because they all had the same ingredients. They could make wheat beers or unfiltered, but they were generally variations of pilsners and lagers. One meaning of the word "Lager" in German is "storage", meaning the beer was brewed in a way that it could be stored, allowing them to brew in bigger batches and store it. Lagers use a more complex brewing process, so only larger breweries would make them, but this worked because of protected territories. America has a similar system, because each state has its own regulations on alcohol, but this is changing as corporate lawyers fight to homogenize the rules favorable to them, but the consumer loses control. Big brands tend to be lagers as they have general appeal to a wide audience. Did you notice this is the second time I pointed out that corporations create homogeneity? Without regulations, corporations create Fascism. That is why I tell people that we already live in the NWO but corporations rule the world instead of governments. Why do you think so few conspiracy theorists make this connection? Propagandists are paid a lot of money to keep even our small community confused about the reality of what's happening. Now, check out conspiracy and you'll see what I mean. They are spreading propaganda for the NWO over there and don't even know it. I tried to point that out and they finally banned me. Oh well. They'll figure it out in their own time. In America, in 1978 it became legal to brew beer at home. This is what led to the explosion of new beers in the US decades later. Americans don't have purity laws, so could test new recipes. But people didn't generally like IPAs before, so how did they become so popular that they control 30% of the market? Marketing, of course. Create the market and tell people what they want. IPA stands for India Pale Ale. It was invented by the British as an easy way to make a beer that they could drink in India. People only drank it out of necessity, as the other beers couldn't make the trip. IPAs are very easy to make and very forgiving, because if you mess it up, it already tasted bad anyway. As people started trying to get into microbrews, they often didn't have the capital to make lagers at small scale, and also wanted a simpler process so they didn't have to hire or train expert brewers, IPAs are cheap and easy to make at smaller scale. In order to make it drinkable, brewers experimented with many different flavorings. This created a cult following of craft IPAs, where people would drive hours to stand in line for hours to try the newest concoction. The trendy nature of the craft beer world kept people training their palate to adapt to the taste of an IPA, making people start to actually like them. The flavorings made people think they were different, so even if they didn't like it, marketing tactics kept people coming back to try the latest blend. Your palate can adapt A LOT. Swedish people love Surströmming, but watch this video of Americans trying it for the first time. They tried to get me to eat it several times, but I would rather sit in a sauna until Tuesday to avoid smelling it while watching them eat it. It really smells that bad. IPAs enticed people with popular, aromatic ingredients like bananas and pineapple. This is what I call "flavor propaganda". It's not bad in and of itself, but it can be easily misused to cover issues with quality or hide the taste of preservatives. Since we don'e have laws like Germany, you're left to rely on the knowledge and honesty of the bartender to find out. They don't make this info readily available, which is another form of Disinformation. So if you think you actually like IPAs, just remember, you are just like a Swede eating rotten fish. A lot of propaganda went in to making IPAs popular, but it's the cheapest, easiest product to make that can be sold at the highest price, so they become popular. This is what business students call a business plan. To overcome the bad taste, IPAs were marketed as "classy" to shame you if you choose the more expensive to produce and more appealing pilsners and lagers, which were given a bad name due to being associated with major brands like Bud Light. This makes it harder to market microbrew lagers, which can only fetch a certain price due to association. And this is what is referred to as the "race to the bottom" in Capitalism. Instead of trying to innovate ways to produce the beers you want, they just figure out how to get you to pay more for an inferior product, just like they do with BBQ. They make you think you want it. From this you can understand why "food" is full of junk that you wouldn't feed your dog. Whatever legal poison helps cheapen the product is considered "smart business", another propaganda term designed to hide the reality of doing immoral and harmful things to other humans for profit. If you make money on it, it's good. As if there aren't better choices we could come up with if there truly were a free market with an informed consumer. *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** STRENGTHEN THE FREE MARKET BY BEING AN INFORMED CONSUMER We don't need a Communist Revolution to make positive changes, so take off your ski masks and put your Antifa flags down. I like microbrew culture and still enjoy IPAs, but understanding the marketplace is how I do my part as an informed consumer and job creator to help create the world that I want to live in. I encourage you to do the same. Vote with your dollars. Don't let the Zuck-type sociopathic, corporate people in a distant land decide what you consume by looking at ads on his platform. Visit local breweries and talk to the brewmaster. Don't reinforce alienation from labor. Connect with the people who make the things you buy. Support independent entrepreneurship. These are the paths to a brighter future where we share in the abundance of wealth. Discover Economic Enlightenment for yourself and realize that We The People are ultimately in control. Wealth inequality is greater than it was in France before the French Revolution. Don't let this train take us into the depths where another Lenin will arise and spend the night shooting people. How you choose to spend your money today is what decides what will become the society of tomorrow. And remember, you always have the choice to buy nothing at all. I never saw a billboard that said that. *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** LET THEM DRINK BEER! I hope this gave you a glimpse behind the curtain of Capitalist Propaganda. Propaganda isn't just political, it has invaded everything and it's at full blast right now. I hope you can piece together how Capitalist Propaganda is actually designed to make you subservient by controlling what you want so they can maximize their own profit and teach you to accept whatever they offer, the homogenization of choice. However, your life is your own and you should remain in control of all aspects of it, including your desires. Richard Wolff is an economist who studied at three elite universities in America and discusses how he was not able to even learn about Socialist Economics in the ivory tower, even though Capitalist Propaganda calls universities leftist. He found no department in America that is even willing to teach it or study it. Capitalist Propaganda censors these ideas, especially at the university. People in power don't want the serfs to learn about themselves. Check him out on YouTube. You'll realize that unchecked Capitalism leads to Fascism and Slavery, which is why they want to get rid of the minimum wage, so that we can return to sharecropping which is already increasingly happening in America under different names, like "student debt", "mortgages" and "insurance". Don't you think it's odd that a person has to go into debt so they can generate profits for corporations who really ought to be paying for this education themselves? If you have to go into debt before they'll hire you, it's much easier to negotiate against you. If you want to see other examples of propaganda, check out this random tweet from one of America's Top Capitalist Propagandists. These are very odd pictures, and the only thing I can see in them is that they must be promoting those outfits, likely the blue dress, maybe those men's outfits as well. One thing you know is that she didn't become a billionaire by letting any single opportunity to enrich herself at the expense of others pass her by. I didn't look it up, but I am certain they sell that blue dress, or whoever does paid her to post this. That's the main reason celebrities use social media. It's marketing. Their whole schtick is to sell garments made in a sweatshop in a foreign country by people who can't even afford a beer to Americans who are facing bankruptcy and homelessness themselves. Read the replies of the tweet. These people have influence that vastly outsizes their understanding of their impact on the world. There are guillotines in the comments. There usually are. I'm seeing them a lot lately. This type of propaganda is everywhere. And it's destroying America. Just like propaganda led to the demise of Nazi Germany, we could be looking at the same thing, but worse. It could start off as famine. If you're having trouble deciding between the beers you are being offered, it's probably because you don't want anything at all, in which case the proper choice is: nothing. Or, try tap water. Maybe you're just thirsty. Now ask yourself, when you envisioned yourself at a bar, did you ever think to order water instead? Did you entertain the idea that you didn't even want a beer. That's the power of suggestion. What if the rest of the world just cut America off from the means of production outsourced to areas with cheap labor? We would have our own famine and likely war. And if we have a revolution here, with the masses in the country being so disinformed about everything and not having any sort of class consciousness at the moment and instead stuck in alienation, the leader that rises here will likely lead to something horrifying. And we censor ourselves from pointing out the simple fact, that the only way America will survive is to tax the deluded royalty like Kim and Mark back to reality, so they can't indulge their reckless, childish delusions by selling off the very fabric of our nation to the highest bidder. That doesn't make me a Socialist, that just makes me honest. Enjoy your beer! *************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************** Thanks for reading and I hope I helped you understand how you can empower yourself. I'm excited about the one I wrote for Election Day tomorrow to keep our NOPOL spirits up while all the politics clouds the airwaves. Cheers!
Collateral: Jihi; Mild Psychological Addiction [Schadenfreude, Inflicting Pain on Others]
Synopsis: Runners are contracted by Telestrian Securities to locate a Merlyn that's gone missing from their scheduled shifts as casino security. Runners bite off more than they can chew when they stumble into the PCC's dirty secret...
Choice of Quality(s) up to 25 RVP value, at chargen cost, Free [25 RVP]: Alibi , Analytical Mind , Astral Chameleon , Biocompatability (Bio or Cyberware) , Barrens Rat , Battle Hardened , Blandness , Brilliant Heuristics , Catlike , Common Sense , Cynic , Daredevil , Drug Tolerant , Focused Concentration [4 per, max 6], Guts , Honest Face , Instinctive Hack , Juryrigger , natural Athlete , ninja vanish , Perceptive [1 or 2 ranks, 5], Quick Config , Shoot First - Don't Ask , Magic Resistance , Social Chameleon , Profiler , Observant , Outdoorsman , Perfect Time , Solid Rep: 405 Hellhounds, Toughness , Spirit Whisperer , Tough as Nails [5, S or P], Astral Chameleon , First Impressions , Uncanny Healer , Spirit Champion , Resistance to Pathogens, Toxins [4, 4, or 8], Radiation Sponge , Rad-Tolerant , Natural Immunity (Natural or Synthetic) [4 or 10], Natural Hardening , Master Debator , Empathic Listener 
SPECIAL: Take Surge (III), Blood Alchera Exposure (replaces 25 RVP for qualities)
Background This run is a continuation of the 'Gambits in the Sand' storyline, covering the PCC's inheritance of the USA government's travesties and ecological terrors in the vast deserts of Nevada province. Meet Runners meet at the Emerald Gryphon Bar & Lounge in Tarislar, Puyallup. Run Runners take the Johnson's sub-orbital shuttle ride to Vegas after agreeing to the contract, arriving at roughly three AM. During the flight they advance legwork between Tamanous made men, hire a driver through networking, and search out additional details on Mr. White's life. Their Tamanous mortician points them to the bodies of two treasure-hunting scavengers recovered by PuebSec in the desert, who have mana burned organs consistent with their subject mage. Using their driver, they break into his apartment, under lockdown by PuebSec, and carefully avoiding the alarms discover the mage is having odd visions and building replicas of Yucca Mountain inside his dishevelled apartment. Hijacking the cameras, they see him leave the apartment in the company of a free spirit, but are unable to identify that spirit. Wraith sends out a drone, verifying that despite the blood alchera storm holding over the deserts of the Access Controlled Areas of the NV desert, there did appear to be footprints or a track outside the entry to the facility that lined up with the timing of their perp. The team rents an off-road dune buggy from their driver contact, and begins moving out towards the site, getting caught up in the mana storm as their weapons get sludged and the vehicle takes a couple direct combat spells to the frame, in addition to surviving a land mine hit. The vehicle survives, however, and they make it to the compound as Slicer begins countermanding the surveillance emplacements in the facility. Entering the property in their enviro-sealed EE suits and clothing, the team sneaks past the cameras emplacements with Slicer's assistance, narrowly avoiding a secondary alarm system set by the PCC Bobcats Special Forces for training purposes. They make it to the basement, only to discover the mage already dead, apparently prostrate in worship to an odd-looking earth spirit trapped in the lowest levels of the nuclear waste storage site. Bubblegum grabs the corpse with some magic hands, alerting 7 Diamonds to other folks who have come to worship at the gateway. 7 Diamonds confuses Bubblegum in attempt to get him to stay; the rest of the team drags Bubblegum out after snagging a genetic sample from the mage and slamming the doors shut on the final waste and depleted fuel chamber. They get struck by another combat spell on their way out, but avoid the landmines this time as the vehicle skirts the desert, headed badck into Las Vegas proper. The team forwards intel to the Johnson, along ith the notice that she probably needs to detonate his cranial bomb before his body alerts the PCC to some military-trespassing complaints. Aftermath 7 Diamonds stirs in his toxic pit, attempting to send messages to the Spirit of Hoover Dam, ready to exact its vengeance against all of the Las Vegas metroplex. Expenses Vehicle rentals, vehicle repair deposits, R2 favor (made man, Slicer), desert/radiation survival gears.
My idea would be for the Rockford Plaza to be updated and allow you to enter it, this is my first time doing the camera surveillance mission for the casino and I think it would work perfectly. Missions Since many places in the world are starting to legalize marijuana, you are now able to purchase a dispensary out of the Rockford Plaza. This will replace your current weed farm, and make it far more profitable because supplies are cheaper and you can make passive income (similar to wall safes) from it as well. Your sting is that it's "medical marijuana" however you continue to sell recreational street marijuana. A little while after you get this set up and do your missions the owner of Rockford Plaza said that he's caught your little charade on camera, and if you want to continue it instead of getting reported to the police, you owe him some favors. This means you must work with Vincent, who is now head of mall security, and you do a series of missions like shutting down shoplifters, to stopping a fully-fledged heist. You are paid handsomely for these efforts. Features
The mall would only be open for certain parts of the day, but coming in after those hours would allow you to rob certain stores, but watch out for mall security or else you'll get kicked out and fined.
You can buy upgrades for you drone or RC car through an RC shop owned by a 60 or so year old man named Zero (same Zero from the GTA San Andreas missions). His shop has things like:
Nano drone upgrades, like hacking devices to interact with hacking terminals or improved range on your nano drone
Bandito upgrades, like the ability to put a Zentorno body on your Bandito.
RC Tank upgrades, like a miniature APC body conversion that can allow your tank to move faster, and travel on water.
There would be a best buy style tech store:
Purchase iFruit upgrades, where you can change your phone model or purchase apps that unlock special abilities
Buy headphones that allow the radio to be listened to on foot
You can buy gadgets like bright shining flashlights which blind enemies, or
There would be a furniture store that allows you to buy custom furniture for apartments
A sporting goods store, with things like hunting bows, throwing knives, exclusive athletic clothes, etc.
Food courts, they're mainly just for the atmosphere and to make it feel like a mall
Other Features Near grove street in GTA there's some kind of big warehouse store, opening this up for use in one of those missions would be cool, but the real cool thing is in free mode it would be accessible and the whole building would be destructible. You could steal a forklift inside of it and tip over giant pillars, it would just be a fun area where almost the whole store can be broken.
In todays log we will discuss the fluffy’s second most common killer. Humans. But before we do that I would like to explain more of the fluffy’s biology. The nutrition of the fluffy in the Neverglades is actually quite good. They are omnivores believe it or not. Meat does have some vital vitamins that they require to sustain good nutrition. However, they can have a full vegetarian diet and survive, however, their muscles and digestive system will not be up to par. Fluffy’s from the north tend to have lots of diarrhea, that is what happens if their only food source is just milk or just grass. Grass is low in fiber and nutrients compared to other vegetables so it is no wonder northern feral fluffy’s defecation is mostly liquid. In Florida, they can eat pond apples. A very bitter but still nutritious cousin of the apples we know and love. Fluffies don’t seem to mind the bitter taste, however, that is because they are feral. Pond apples were given to domestic fluffies and they rejected it. As ferals they will make the most out of any flavor. Other fruits they can eat are seagrapes, coconuts, and the thousands of orange, lime, and peach trees left over from the farms. Such trees are now spreading all throughout the Neverglades. As for meat, they have 2 main sources. Other fluffies, foals, and insects. They will munch on the countless grasshoppers, ants, beetles, and any other small arthropod. So I guess fluffies are above at least bugs in the food chain, however there are plenty of insects that can eat them if they have large numbers. With such a balanced diet, mares rarely have stillborns or defective foals! Also these Neverglade fluffy fecal matter is solid. Their rear ends still get covered in the stuff however… The Neverglades have countless factions that scour the land. Keep in mind fluffies are biologically programmed to love humans unconditionally. Most feral fluffies have never seen a human and yet they still crave their love. Our drones have caught them murmuring to themselves that they want a “hooman huggies.” Humans are practically mythical gods to them at this point. When they do see one, they will become overjoyed and charge towards them asking for “huggies” and “gib upsies.” The human almost always kills them. After a few foul encounters with a human a fluffy will learn to fear us, unfortunately, they can’t seem to teach other fluffies that lesson. In parenthesis is how their standings are with fluffies, from most friendly to least it goes Loving-neutral-aggressive-hostile. Researchers (Neutral): Us, we do not kill fluffies unless required for an experiment or if we are low on food supplies. Rangers (Aggressive): These are the park Rangers, they are one half invasive species hunter, one half SWAT team. They will kill any python, boar, Nile crocodile, or iguana they come across. As for fluffies, they used to kill on sight, but the fluffy population always seemed to bounce back. They were spending countless dollars on ammo and trying to club a whole herd to death could take hours. And again, the fluffies always bounced back, always. They deemed it pointless unless using them for target practice. Also, they will kill them if bored. (Video plays, it seems to be from a phone) Filming Ranger: Duuuuddee got the ‘nade? A herd off fluffies are running to them in the distance, feint “huggies” and “upsies” can be heard. Other Ranger: Yeah dude! Fuckin’ watch. (Now Shouting) HEY FLUFFS, PLAY WITH BALL! He pulls the pin to the grenade and throws it at the herd. The fluffies shout “yay baww! fank 'ou.” They played with the grenade for only a second before it went off, causing blood, shit, fur, and dead foals to coat the surrounding land. The explosion was followed by the roaring laughter of the Rangers. (Video Ends) Armed with assault rifles and large artillery, the Rangers are also in the Neverglades to stop the Cuban Cartels, Brofluff Cultists, Anarchists, malfunctioning robots, and any other nefarious activity in the Neverglades. [Redacted] Man (Extremely hostile, even to [Redacted]!): [Redacted] Man is [Redacted], im*e#sely da^ng3r&s [Red4c1ed] d0 4OT A9pr0c#----- Squatters (Hostile): Not everyone took kindly to evacuate all land south of Lake Okeechobee order. Many demanded to say, and the governor obliged, however, he warned them that there would be no police force or fire fighters to protect them, or corporations to supply jobs. Over the years many Squatters moved back to the inhabited parts of Florida such as the pan handle after life got too rough. Not only that, many Squatters have been killed by the Cartels, Anarchists, and even panthers and black bears. The Fort of Fort Myers was completely destroyed by [Redacted] Man. Which used to be the largest Squatter stronghold. Now they are sparse and no longer live in large communities, instead they live more of a hermit life. Fluffies are their main source of meat. They will hunt them; such a task is easily done with fluffies prancing to them. But they will also construct traps. The most effective is a Comfortfluffy. Think of it like a scarecrow but opposite. It is human effigy that it is made to attract Fluffies. As they approach the comfortfluffy, the fluffies will try to hug it. At the base of the comfortfluffy is a large mouse trap device hidden under pine needles. Such a device can kill 5 fluffies in 1 activation. (Video starts) A Comfortfluffy is erected in the backyard of an isolated house in a grassland. Around the Comfortfluffy is tan palmfrawns that hide the killing mechanism. There is even a small radio hidden in the chest of the Comfortfluffy playing songs one would hear on Fluffy TV. A small pack of 5 adult fluffies with 2 mares with foals on their backs happily waddle towards the comfortfluffy shouting “huggies!” They begin to nudge the pants of the comfortfluffy and although metal creaking sounds could be heard, the trap does not activate. Then one of the fluffies begins to jump while singing “upsies!” The jump was just the pressure needed to activate the trap. A rusty screech is heard as the trap activates and 4 mouse trap-like bars swing down around the comfortfluffy. The cheers of the fluffies turn to a quick shriek, a loud crack, followed by some meek crying. 3 of the fluffies died on impact, their scull or chest cavity popped like a pimple. The 2 that survived had their hind ends crushed and their entrails shot out their rear. “Big owwies!!!” They meekly cried as the life in them slowly drained. The Foals that got hit by the bars were completely obliterated. The ones that were not hit were completely unscathed, however, they began to cry about everyone taking the “foweba sweepies.” As shadow then looms over them. “Sandra! Were havin’ foal stew tonight!” (Video ends) Cuban Cartels (Hostile): Even after the legalization of marijuana the Cartels did not slow down. They are still quite in business thanks to the ever-growing demand for cocaine, heroin, and opium. The Cartels will make landfall in the Neverglades if the make it past the heavily patrolled Keys Atolls. They even have some bases the Rangers can’t take out unless they get military assistance. The Cartels will actively lure fluffies into their bases. They will put signs featuring happy looking humans with arrows pointing at the base. The fluffies will gladly follow the signs. Once lured into the base the Cartel henchmen will slaughter them for food. Anarchists (Loving to Hostile): True to the definition of their namesake, they have no set rules or governance, and most anarchist groups have no relation to one another. You’ll have the ones who come to the Neverglades to abuse its low surveillance to torture and murder Squatters, other anarchists, and any other poor human that gets in their way. They will of course have their way with any and all fluffies. Then you’ll have the more hippie kind who just want to have a nice little commune away from corporations. These are usually very loving to the fluffies, most wont even hunt them with the amount of vegans they have. However, these communes don’t last long due to attacks from the Cartels, other anarchists, [Redacted] Man, and even large animal attacks. We’ve even witnessed a massive pack of coyotes kill an entire commune. Brofluff Cult (Loving): This all male cult worships some sort of female equine pantheon. Part of their religion is to be subservient to all fluffies. They will come to the Neverglades and build small fluffly sized homes. They will cook countless spaghetti for the fluffies. They will protect the fluffies, even going as far as killing any human who dare hurts a fluffy. However, do note they will… mate… with a mare they call their “fluffu.” They will also breed fluffies in hopes of reincarnating the “Daughters of the Goddesses.” The Rangers will keep a close eye on them, if they make any aggressive move towards other humans the Rangers will rout them. Pirates (Hostile): Basically anarchists that patrol the seas. They will commonly go ashore to restock on fluffies unless the find a drifting boat full of fluffies. Fathers of Freeport (Hostile): Please remember, when I write “hostile” I only mean to fluffies, these men are actually very kind. The name of their faction was dubbed by me, they are simply Bahaman refugees searching for food. After sea level rise the Bahaman government disbanded, taking the upper class with them to live in Florida’s panhandle. The rest of the civilians were left to fend for themselves. Food is now critically short over in the Bahamas. What little land is left can’t grow food and the coral reefs have been overfished to depletion. However, some savvy fisherman have learned about the fluffy situation in Florida. They sail over to the east coast and collect a hulls worth of fluffies to take back to the remnants of their starving country. This particular group I was monitoring always stocks up at an atoll building at Hallandale Reef. This building is completely surrounded by water and somehow stuffed to the gills with fluffies on all dry floors. I was even able to intercept and question the captain of the fishing boat. (Start of transcript) Researcher: So what brought you to Hallandale Reef? Captain: The reefs ova’ by Miami have too many pirates scoutin’ the seas. But here it is close enough to Seminole Territory dat da pirates shy away. Researcher: Has the Seminoles have any qualms with you? Captain: Nah, dey know we mean no harm. We take only the fluffy ones. Dey seem to not care fo’ them. Researcher: Are you afraid this building will run out of fluffies? Captain: (Laughs) No, no, no. Dees tings have many many babs’. If anyting we be doing them a favor and stoppin’ them from ending up like our own home. Researcher: Have any of your men gotten hurt trying to farm these fluffies? Captain: Yes, a greenhorn died. The floors of dis building be covered in shit. Poor greenhorn slipped and fell down stairs. Researcher: I see, have you encountered [Redacted] Man? Captain: Oh no lord Jesus, nonono! We be going now, good day! Researcher: But… Captain: Our hulls are full, and you reminded me of why our people can’t immigrate here, goodbye! And may lord Jesus protect your soul, science man who pokes tings dat need not be pokin’! (End of Transcript) Seminole Tribe (Neutral): A very powerful faction on par with the Rangers when it comes to control in the Neverglades. With the rising waters the Seminoles have lost lots of their ancestral lands and the USA did not grant them any more territory. However, they adapted. Their crowing hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel was a casino and hotel that is shaped like a giant guitar. Now that it is surrounded by water, they modified it to work also as a yacht club and dock. They even built an underwater hotel near it. People from all over the world fly in to West Palm Beach to take a cruise to their establishment. They also rule the area with an iron fist, killing any pirates, cultists, Cartel, or any other undesirables that try to make a footing in their territory. To fluffies, they are indifferent. See them as nothing more as a pest. They will kill any feral fluffy that is found in the halls of their hotels. But for any fluffy roaming the marshes of their territory, they know culling won’t really solve anything, so they let nature take its course. They also breed fluffies for desirable colors and will even have Fluffy Shows where breeders exhibit their fluffy show-pony. Fighters For Florida (Or the FFF) (Neutral to Hostile): With the right permits and go aheads from government bodies, civilians can enter the Neverglades. The FFF is a hunting force of civilians that is organized to hunt invasive species such as pythons, Nile crocs, and any other invasive threat. However, ones hunting for pythons and such do not target fluffies because they know it will make no difference and their reserve ammo is better spent fighting any human threat that tries to harm them. That being said, some… questionably moraled FFF hunters that call themselves “abusers” come to the Neverglades to only torture fluffies to death. Since fluffies are labeled as invasive animals “to be removed by any means necessary” the abusers are 100% in legal right to… “hunt” fluffies in any way they want. That about covers the humans of the Neverglades. Now we shall talk about native fluffavores, aka native animals that can eat adult fluffies. The Black Bear: This animal is an omnivore in which 80% of their diet was vegetation. Not anymore, now their primary food source is fluffies. Because they are easier to hunt then to forage for fruits. If a heard of Fluffies spots one, they will usually shout and panic and try to quickly waddle away. The Black Bear will make chase and usually eat the one that trips, or it will swipe at the slowest one and kill it. Black Bears can even take out a nest by themselves. Even if the fluffies try to hide in a burrow the bears can dig down to them, but they usually go after easier fluffy prey. Black Bears in human ruins have learned that pushing open doors or breaking into boxes, cars, trash cans, and other containers have a good chance of revealing a hiding fluffy. Also note, fluffies also tend to think ALL land animals fear the water like them and will rush into shallow water to escape the black bear. They will then tease the bear, until the bear effortlessly charges into the water and kills them. Panthers: We have talked about the general hunting habits of the panther in log 1, however I’d like to add on the habits of an alpha male panther. Alphas will patrol a large territory and basically kill any animal it does not want in its territory including other male panthers. One alpha has been documented killing 125 fluffies in a mega herd. It only ate 2. Florida Gar: This fish can grow up to 3 meters in length. It used to be a very rare sight this far south in Florida after overfishing from humans. Now, they have made ma huge comeback thanks to the Neverglades low human population and fluffies as a food source. Unlike smaller gar or bass, these fish can eat an adult fluffy. They will glide into the shallows and scoop up a fluffy wading through the water and then use its serpentine body to slither back into the depth all while the fluffy begs to be let go. If the initial bite does not kill it that is. Raptors: Hawks, Eagles, Osprey, Falcons and any large bird that hunts with talons. The red shouldered hawk is very common predator of the skies. “Wingie munstah” as they are called by fluffies are common throughout all habitats and thus Raptors have the largest kill count of fluffies if you don’t count humans. Our camera drones must always use its cloaking device not only to not spook the fluffies, but to hide from raptors. (Video starts) A Red Shouldered Hawk sits on a tall cypress branch as it spots a herd of fluffies waddling into the dried cypress dome. “Fluffy so thiwsty… need some wawas…” They then come across a puddle and joyously begin to drink. That is when the hawk makes its move. It glides down under the branches and before the fluffies can even cry out in warning. The hawk snatches up a small adult fluffy, as it flies the fluffy shits on everything below. The hawk waits for it to stop shitting and carries him up to a branch. All fluffies scatter in fear but one, the victim fluffies mate and her foals. “Wingie munstah! Pwease gib speshuw fwend back!” The foals also cry for their mother’s mate. The hawk then lands on a branch and holds the fluffy down with one talon that has dug into his flesh. The hawk begins to peck at the fluffy’s side and the fluffy begins to cry out “biggest owwies!” The hawk rips out the fluffy’s liver, then a kidney, then more chunks of flesh until the fluffy dies of organ failure. Stated, the hawk then pushes the fluffy off the branch. Its corpse hits multiple branches on the way down until it lands and the mare and her foals begin to cry at his corpse. The mare then is snatched up by a bald eagle and the cycle repeats. The video then shows a clip of two ospreys fighting over a filly midair. It should be noted that not all Raptors kill fluffies by consumption, sometimes they simply drop them. The osprey continue to fight until they drop the filly into the brackish water below. She screams and shouts until she drowns and disappears under the tea-like waters of the estuary. The video then shows a clip of a bald eagle migrating high in the air. The fluffy it is carrying then shits so hard it startles the eagle and it drops it. The video zooms in as the fluffy splats on the abandoned parking lot below. (Video ends) Alligators: These ancient predators are a fluffy’s worst nightmare because it is a “wawa munsta” that can exit the water and kill them. It is immensely rare for an alligator to hunt on land. They are almost entirely ambush predators, laying low in the water, hidden until a land animal needs to take a drink so it can immediately bite the prey’s head and pull it into the water. Such a perfect strategy is why alligators have been relatively unchanged since the time of dinosaurs. Such a strategy is perfect to eat fluffies, to no surprise. However, why wait? Alligators will leave the water, charge at a herd and scoop up one that did not run away in time. If they see trapped fluffies, they can devour multiple. (Video starts) There is a large abandoned Olympic sized swimming pool that has essentially turned into a marsh. Ten fluffies have entered the pool on the shallow end where sediment pile up from draining rainwater has made a ramp. They waddle to the diving well of the pool which has become a small pond within itself. The fluffies begin to drink from the pondwater and a massive alligator from the kiddie pool scurries into the pool marsh. The fluffies finally see her but it is too late. The walls of the pool got them trapped and the alligator blocks the only way out. The alligator slowly gets them to back up into the corner of the pool as they meekly cry and whine and shit. She lunges forward and bites one, then a second, then another! She shallows 3 fluffies down as they scream and defecate. The rest of the herd use this time to escape. However, more alligators enter the marsh pool as their cries altered the whole waterpark. A new video clip starts to show off how some mares will sacrifice foals to save themselves. A mare is cornered in a sewer as a 50cm juvenile alligator hisses and harasses the mare. The foal on her back shouts “Mummah! make wawa munsta go 'way!” She lets out a sad cry “Am sowwy bestes' babbeh.” And drops the foal on the ground, the alligator scoops it up as the mare escapes. (Video ends) Seagulls: Alone they can eat a foal, but a flock can peck a lone adult to death and eat small chunks of them. Those are all the native fluffavores we have for today. Next log we will talk about defective robots that are scattered throughout the Neverglades. And how their glitched programming makes them a threat to fluffies… unless their programming was to kill them in the first place. Then they are not glitched.
So I work as a dispatcher for security at a casino. I usually come in early before my shift to "gather my bearings" and to chat with some of the officers from the previous shift. Working dispatch is slightly stressful, not only because of the calls and normal day-to-day scheduled calls, but because surveillance has two cameras in the dispatch room and watches your every move. I have had several note-to-files because of eating at the desk or reading a book on slow days. Not that big of a deal. One of the other dispatchers was temporarily banned for sleeping in dispatch. Now that's a big deal. Well, as I'm coming in to work one morning, the temp-banned dispatcher is working. I walk into dispatch, and I see he has youtube up on the company computer, something he's been reprimanded for on numerous occasions. He hears the door open, panics, and starts closing out of the page quickly. I just shake my head, ignore him, and tell his supervisor.
Kevin argues about a job title with someone who used to work in that field
This happened months ago but is one of the many cases in which a certain ex coworker of mine shined at not being the brightest bulb in the box. Kevin and I were casually chatting during a slow time at work about previous employment for the two of us. He talked about working in retail while currently going through college. Whereas my last position was at a casino. Obligatory OP represents me during the conversation and K represents the Kevin in the conversation. OP: I used to work at a casino where I was a surveillance officer. K: you mean security, right? Op: No, while I was there I never worked security. I worked surveillance where I watched the cameras. Security was a separate department. K: Security and surveillance are the same thing. OP: Not necessarily. Yes there may be companies and also what is seen on tv and movies in which the security team watches the cameras too, that’s not always the case. K: There’s no need for them to be separate. It’s all under what security should be. OP: ... dude I’m telling you the job that I had had no relation to security and I didn’t report to security at all, we were a separate department altogether. Pretty much right after that there were a couple customers that came in and needed assisting and we both went our separate ways helping each of them. I’m pretty sure he still thinks he’s right even though I was the one who had that job he was claiming didn’t really exist.
A Deep Dive - Ghislaine Maxwell: Silver Spoons and Hard Times
This story was published in Frank's Report. Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.Frank Reportis one of the internet’s best destinations for true, unfiltered, hard-hitting journalism run by the acclaimed journalist Frank Parlato. Since 2015, articles published onFrank Reporthave exposed major scandals and criminal enterprises (including the NXIVM Cult. Frank Parlato has been cited as a source by hundreds of major media outlets around the world, including the New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CNN, Fox News, Albany Times Union, New York Post, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, Oxygen, Hollywood Life, E! News, CBS Inside Edition, Televisa (Mexico, Stern (Germany, Brisbane Times (Australia, Sun (UK, Hamilton Spectator (Canada), Haaretz (Israel), Tibetan Journal (Tibet), Dnevnik (Croatia), New Zealand Herald, Sputnik News (Russia), Voici (France), Blich (Switzerland), Pour Femme (Italy), CM Journal (Portugal) and more. Frank Parlato was the lead investigator and coordinating producer of Investigation Discovery’s 2 hour blockbuster special ‘The Lost Women of NXIVM.’))))) From sex trafficking cults disguised as self-empowerment groups to government cronyism depriving citizens of tax-funded programs, Frank Report doesn’t just turn stones – it outright obliterates them. Welcome to Frank Report, one of the internet’s finest examples of real, unbridled journalism.
Ghislaine Maxwell – Silver Spoons and Hard Times
August 9, 2020 By Paul Serran https://frankreport.com/2020/08/09/ghislaine-maxwell-silver-spoons-and-hard-times/ http://archive.is/by7md Ghislaine Maxwell led much of her life under the world’s fascinated microscopic view, always enthralled by her – famous and infamous – as it watched her fortunes wax and wane. From the celebrated miracle daughter of media tycoon Robert Maxwell; to the broken young woman who fled scandal in the UK to a small New York apartment, trying to launch a new life; the rebirth Jet-set Ghislaine, who was everywhere at once, longtime companion of Jeffrey Epstein, a man even richer and more shady than her father; the sophisticated middle age woman, a runaway alleged criminal trying hard to avoid detection by her pursuers – finally, to the incarcerated, indicted suspected sex trafficker and perjurer. Ghislaine was Robert and Betty Maxwell’s miracle baby, born on Christmas Day, 1961. Two days after that, their eldest son suffered a fatal car accident. In 24 hours, it all had been somehow foretold: joy – and then tragedy. During the Swinging Sixties, Robert Maxwell served two terms as a Labour Member of Parliament (MP) for Buckingham. He led a multimillionaire lifestyle, and was the host of star-studded parties at Headington Hill Hall, his baronial fifty-three-room Oxford mansion. The Maxwells spent a million dollars redecorating the mansion. In a stained glass window scene for the imperial staircase, Israeli sculptor Nehemia Azaz depicted Robert Maxwell as the biblical hero Samson tearing down the gates of Gaza: “a titan of luck, impossible achievement, and unlimited wealth”. They had the use of chauffeured luxury cars. They traveled the world in Robert’s Gulfstream IV Jet and his sleek 180-foot yacht, named Lady Ghislaine. “If Bob Maxwell didn’t exist, no one could invent him,” Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock celebrated the bombastic, demanding mogul who dined with kings and presidents and had a bottomless appetite for family, food, fortune, and fame. The first brush with financial and professional hardship came at a age when young Ghislaine would have been mostly sheltered from it. In the early seventies, after Robert Maxwell tried similar shenanigans in a failed attempt to swindle the American financier Saul Steinberg, who was interested in a strategic acquisition of Pergamon Press. Steinberg claimed that during negotiations, Maxwell falsely stated that a subsidiary responsible for publishing encyclopedias was extremely profitable. At the same time, Pergamon had been forced to reduce its profit forecasts for 1969 during the period of negotiations, leading to a suspension of dealing in Pergamon shares on the London stock markets. It was found that Maxwell had contrived to maximize Pergamon’s share price through transactions between his private family companies. This was a criminal practice he would utilize again in the future. Inspectors from Britain’s Department of Trade and Industry declared Maxwell unfit to run a public company: “Notwithstanding Mr. Maxwell’s acknowledged abilities and energy, he is not in our opinion a person who can be relied on to exercise proper stewardship of a publicly quoted company.” ‘Captain Bob’ established the Maxwell Foundation in tax haven Liechtenstein, in 1970. By the 1980s he come back roaring, prompted by money later said to have originated in the Soviet Union. He bought the Mirror Group built and a massive media conglomerate. The good times were on: Ghislaine was nicknamed “The Shopper” because of her wild spending funded by Robert’s millions. He also bankrolled her failed corporate gifts business. During this period, she reportedly had a VERY close relationship with her father and was widely credited with being her father’s favorite child. In Oxford, Ghislaine led a student life of wealth and privilege. Her father would send Filipino servants to the college house she shared to clean, arrange the table and cook, in the event of a party. Her career piggybacked on her father’s businesses. She was made director of the Oxford United, and later, put in charge of “special projects” of the New York Daily News. With her father’s money, she found her way into society, especially in New York — a haven where she could escape his complete control. But the good times were not to last. Overextended and over-leveraged, Maxwell’s empire was about to crumble. At this time, Maxwell reportedly was a regular at London’s casinos, playing three tables at once, even dropping $2.5 million in a single night. For years, he had been an inveterate gambler, but this was the behavior of a desperate man whose time was running out. “He was a very crude man,” said a female writer for Time magazine. “His polish was not very deep. If you were with him for any length of time, it peeled away. I was in his library in the Maxwell House penthouse—a beautiful apartment with marble and servants all over the place—and while I was admiring his books, his valet said to me, ‘You should see Mr. Maxwell’s collection of pornographic tapes’.” Ghislaine visited her father in his office before he flew off to Gibraltar. “He was looking for an apartment in New York—a sort of pied-à-terre, where he could talk and have meetings—and he wanted me to help him,” she told Vanity Fair. “He asked me to go see a particular apartment. He said, ‘If you like it, I’ll make time to see it and come to New York.’ ” But the next time Ghislaine saw her father, he was dead. ”Ghislaine is the baby of the family and the one who was closest to her father,” her mother Betty told Vanity Press. ”The whole of Ghislaine’s world has collapsed, and it will be very difficult for her to continue.” When she finally appeared before the reporters, she had collected herself. “How did your father die?” a journalist shouted at Ghislaine Maxwell. “He did not commit suicide. That was just not consistent with his character. I think he was murdered. ” Maxwell, it turned out, had debts of nearly $5 billion, and had stolen hundreds of millions from the Mirror Group’s pension funds to shore up his faltering companies. That left 32,000 employees exposed to retirement ruin. The irony was not lost on the hard-hitting British press: Robert Maxwell, a socialist, stealing hundreds of millions of pounds from the Mirror’s pension fund! He swindled money from two of his public companies, transferred millions in and out the secret family trusts in Liechtenstein, to manipulate the share price of his Corporation. Robert was called “rogue,” “crook,” “bully,” “thief,” “megalomaniac,” and “gangster.” The press told lurid tales of his sex orgies with midget Filipino hookers. He was seen as a 310-pound aberration gorging on spoonfuls of caviar. An erratic and cruel tyrant who used Turkish towels for toilet paper. Journalists wrote that he was a spy for the K.G.B. or Mossad or Czech intelligence—or all three. “My daughter Ghislaine has no money, no trusts, no funds anywhere.” her mother Betty told Vanity Fair. “Neither of [my children] had any money. Their father never gave them any money.” Their assets were frozen. His son Kevin’s house was put up for sale, as were the Lady Ghislaine and the Gulfstream IV Jet. Their passports were seized. A friend told TheTimes of London, “[Ghislaine] had always been the life and soul of the party wherever she wanted to go in the world and never had to worry about money.” Now she was the broken child of a monster, his name forever synonymous to scandal. “She was catatonic,” the friend said. Forced to vacate her huge company-provided residence, she moved into a small apartment. When a friend came to visit, Ghislaine told her, “They took everything—everything—even the cutlery.” Little did she know how many more times things in her life would shift from silver spoons to hard times. A woman brought up in luxury, she had everything taken from her, before she came to the United States to begin again. “He wasn’t a crook,” Ghislaine told Vanity Press. “A thief to me is somebody who steals money. (…) Did he put it in his own pocket? Did he run off with the money? No. And that’s my definition of a crook.” “I’m surviving—just,” she said. “But I can’t just die quietly in a comer. I have to believe that something good will come out of this mess. It’s sad for my mother. It’s sad to have lost my dad. It’s sad for my brothers. But I would say we’ll be back. Watch this space.” Ghislaine Maxwell was also being hunted by the tabloids. The Maxwell name was so detested in London that she is said to have had to walk around in a blond wig so people wouldn’t recognize her. Ghislaine Maxwell’s reinvention didn’t take long. Maxwell moved to the United States just after her father’s death. Her photograph boarding a Concorde to cross the Atlantic caused outrage – her father had just defrauded pensioners out of 750 Million Sterling Pounds. According to the Mail on Sunday: “Unnoticed by almost everybody, traveling with her was a greying, plumpish, middle-aged American businessman who managed to avoid the photographers. It is to this man that 30-year-old Ghislaine has turned to ease the heartache of her father’s shame.” “His name is Jeffrey Epstein.” “Whose house is this, Ghislaine?” a friend asked her in the early 1990’s. “Who lives here?” My friend,” Maxwell replied. “Well, is he banging you?” the friend demanded. “What’s the scoop here?” A trust fund is said to have provided her with an income of $145,000 a year. A far cry from her previous seemingly unending wealth. She “never, ever had any cash. Lots of credit, of course, but no cash”, one friend recalled to the press. And yet, she lived the high life. She was known in New York as the “female Gatsby” for her lavish entertaining. Had a “reputation for being charming and funny, and a glittering lifestyle straight out of the pages of a society magazine”. She was now “far from the ever watchful eye of the British press,” Hello! magazine wrote in 1997. “She is proud of the fact that her new life is all down to her own hard work and has her elegant apartment to show for it,” the magazine mistakenly added. One day, she would “get married and have kids. But it has never been a focus: My focus is my business.” Ghislaine’s presence added more fuel to the question: “How did Jeffrey Epstein amass his fortune?” For one of the most propagated theories is that Maxwell’s father Robert bankrolled him with funds hidden from the UK authorities. Jeffrey Epstein built a 21,000-square-foot mansion on a massive ranch in New Mexico, which – he boasted – made his New York townhouse “look like a shack”. He named it the Zorro Ranch. He also acquired a 72-acre island in the Virgin Islands and an 8,600-square-foot home in Paris, with a specially built massage room. She had found a path back to the lifestyle she’d lost when her father died. “She was used to living very well,” says a friend who knew her then. “She didn’t want to go back to where she was.” All she had to do to keep it was to give ‘the monster’ what he wanted. Maxwell was expected to drop everything to serve Epstein. She had to keep everyone in line, because one misstep would unleash the wrath of Epstein, one of the few people who could make Maxwell cry. “He would be screaming over the phone,” recalled an Epstein victim, “and she would burst into tears.” The New York townhouse became a social nexus; guests could have included members of the Kennedy and Rockefeller clans, “along with the requisite sprinkling of countesses and billionaires,” according to The Times of London. She was “a modern-day geisha” in a “domain filled with the richest people in the planet. “It’s a world frequented by young half-naked girls in bikinis, billionaires and lavish lifestyles, but it borders on the grotesque. You are never really sure what is going on behind closed doors.” Royalty was specially prized, which is why her friendship with Prince Andrew became so treasured. In 2000, Maxwell and Epstein attended a Prince Andrew’s party at the Queen’s Sandringham House estate in Norfolk, England. It has been reported that the event was in honor of Maxwell’s 39th birthday. And yet, Ghislaine began trying to distance herself from Epstein long before he went to jail. In the early 2000s, she hooked up in California with a man much richer than Epstein: Ted Waitt. Waitt lived in a seven-bedroom, 14-bath mansion in La Jolla, sailed the world aboard a 240-foot mega-yacht, the Plan B. It was equipped with a helipad, Jacuzzi, elevator, gym, and HAD AN ONBOARD SUBMARINE, which Maxwell soon was licensed to pilot. After Epstein went to prison in Florida for a short period, Maxwell saw the silver spoons turned into hard times again. Acquaintances that crossed her path reported how she was almost unrecognizable. She was not stylish and attention grabbing anymore, seemed determined to go unnoticed. Her face had no makeup. There was a hint of gray in her black hair, she put on some weight. “I was so shocked by her look,” a friend recalled to the British press. “I didn’t recognize her.” She even gave up her once proud name, sometimes introducing herself to new acquaintances only as “G.” “Where are you living, Ghislaine?” the friend asked. “I lost touch with you.” Maxwell suddenly went blank. “Oh,” she replied, “a little bit everywhere.” December 2014: Virginia Roberts Giuffre filed a motion in the Southern District of Florida describing Maxwell as Epstein’s “primary coconspirator and participant in his sexual abuse and sex trafficking scheme.” Maxwell made a huge mistake, issuing an “urgent” statement to the media dismissing the claims as “obvious lies.” That allowed Giuffre, to sue Maxwell for defamation in federal court in New York, a lawsuit “widely viewed as a vessel for Epstein’s victims to expose the scope of Epstein’s crimes,” according to the Miami Herald. Maxwell affirmed her innocence with fury, at one point of her testimony banging her fists on the table. She also, according to charges filed by the DOJ SDNY, committed two counts of perjury. 2019: when the SDNY reopened the criminal investigation into Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine was far away, living the high life. She met with her friend Prince Andrew in Buckingham Palace, and participated in “Cash & Rocket”, an annual charity road rally. Between races of the rally, she joined the super rich in attending a Masquerade Ball in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, as well as a White dinner at La Reserve in Geneva and the Red party at the Yacht Club de Monaco. Those were to be her last reported events. Cash & Rocket scrub Maxwell’s photo from its website once Epstein was arrested and the scandal assaulted the headlines again. On July 6, 2019, Epstein was arrested by federal agents at Teterboro Airport, arriving from Paris. The FBI raided his mansion, and charged him with sex trafficking of minors. “Epstein’s pimp girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, a very well-connected Brit socialite cannot just walk free,” actress Ellen Barking tweeted the day after Epstein’s arrest. “This woman is his pimp. She pilots planes [sic] to and from the island. I know because she told me.” Maxwell again went into hiding, unreachable during legal proceedings. It surfaced in December 2019 that Maxwell was among the people under FBI investigation for facilitating Epstein’s crimes. She was faced with a tabloid frenzy even bigger than the one that accompanied the death of her father. She again uprooted herself and tried to start over in Manchester-by-the-Sea, a quiet village 30 miles north of Boston, she lived for a time in the $3 million, five-bedroom colonial home of Scott Borgerson, CEO of CargoMetrics, a hedge fund investment company involved in maritime data analytics. Since Epstein was found dead in jail, last August, she is reported to have moved 36 times, out of fear for her safety. Credible Death threats arrived by social media, email, phone, text, and postal service. It began in earnest with Epstein’s arrest, multiplied with his death, and accelerated in the months that followed. They soon became a routine part of her life. She hired a professional security firm, with operatives that are veterans of intelligence and law enforcement agencies. This photoshopped photo of Maxwell surfaced last year to mislead the public into thinking she was in Los Angeles. Frank Report was the first to report the photo a fake, a story that went viral.
“Where in the world was Ghislaine Maxwell? Everyone, it seemed, had a theory, each wilder than the last. She was said to be hiding deep beneath the sea in a submarine, which she was licensed to pilot. Or she was lying low in Israel, under the protection of the Mossad, the powerful intelligence agency with whom her late father supposedly tangled. Or she was in the FBI witness protection program, or ensconced in luxury in a villa in the South of France, or sunning herself naked on the coast of Spain, or holed up in a high-security doomsday bunker belonging to rich and powerful friends whose lives might implode should Maxwell ever reveal what she knows—all the dirty secrets of the dirty world that she and Epstein shared.” (Vanity Fair – Jul 3, 2020)
Maxwell remained at large, beyond the reach of attorneys, tabloid reporters, and a 10,000-pound reward from The Sun in London. “It’s a little bit like Elvis—you get lots of reports but they’re hard to verify,” a victim attorney said in May. She was periodically said to have been spotted around the world, usually in places where she was not. Reporters scoured the globe. Some said she was in Russia trying to get a Oligarch to protect her. Others pointed to Israel or Brazil, China, Singapore, the Middle East, England. She was “both everywhere and nowhere,” lamented UK’s The Guardian. On August 2019, she was apparently photographed eating a burger and fries in the Cahuenga Boulevard, in the San Fernando Valley. She held The Book of Honor: The Secret Lives and Deaths of CIA Operatives. Given Ghislaine and her father Robert’s alleged ties to Intelligence Services, this choice does not seem accidental. Papers were running out of incredible stories to account for her disappearance. A bizarre new theory emerged she could be hiding in a submarine which – as we saw – was not downright impossible, since she DID have a license to pilot underground vehicles. On July 2nd 2020, Maxwell was arrested by the FBI and NYPD in the small New England town of Bradford, New Hampshire. It is situated at driving distance of the NYSD. They finally found her in a luxurious four-bedroom, 4,365-square-foot home on a wooded lot, called Tuckedaway. Ghislaine Maxwell was charged with six federal crimes: luring and enticement of minors, sex trafficking of children and perjury. The crimes took place between 1994 and 1997, the years of her “intimate relationship with Epstein,” when she “assisted, facilitated, and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minor girls.” One of the three unnamed victims was “as young as 14 years old when they were groomed and abused by Maxwell and Epstein, both of whom knew that certain victims were in fact under the age of 18.” FBI assistant director William F. Sweeney Jr. described Maxwell as “one of the villains of this investigation,” who had “slithered away to a gorgeous property” in New Hampshire, where she was “continuing to live a life of privilege while her victims live with the trauma inflicted upon them years ago.” “I am optimistic about my future,” she said in 1997, “and believe things will continue to improve for me as time passes.” Now, according to sources close to her, “I don’t think [Ghislaine] sees there is a future,” came the reply. If found guilty of all charges, Maxwell could face a prison sentence of 35 years. She denies the accusations, and has pleaded not guilty to all six charges. She will await trial locked up in the Metropolitan Detention Center, in Brooklyn. A dreadful prison that is as removed from her previous “silver spoon” upbringing as it’s possible in the US. Hard times. She used to be a larger than life character, who once hosted a dinner for NY socialites on ‘the fine art of giving a blow job’. But then, she really blew it. A report from a source familiar with the Metropolitan Detention Center gives a glum picture of Ghislaine Maxwell’s present conditions. She is in the women’s section and believed to be confined to a solitary cell. Because of the past history of the MDC, it is not impossible to suspect that Ghislaine could be having sexual relations with one or more corrections officers, either male or female. Her available wealth would permit her to buy some privileges directly from the corrections officers who could smuggle in items for her. MDC has a history of guards, male and female, enjoying sex with prisoners and smuggling in everything from alcohol to cell phones to drugs. While she is not enjoying what anyone would call a privileged life, and is most likely [because of Covid protocols] confined to her cell, dank and cold [in summer] perhaps as much as 23-24 hours per day and possibly getting only one hot meal per day, our source says, with her wealth and talent to charm, if there is any privilege, any opportunity, any luxury to enjoy at MDC, she is enjoying it. Of course, she is probably under near-constant surveillance, for no guard wants to go to prison for letting her get murdered or commit suicide – as did her former lover Epstein. It is not known how frequently she is meeting with lawyers in special rooms set aside for the purpose. But an MDC source tells Frank Report that prison officials are known to eavesdrop on those conversations with lawyers and defendants and do so on high profile cases. Whether they report to the prosecution what they learn is unknown. In the end, Maxwell has a hard road to hoe and will remain in the brutal and unsanitary MDC until she stands trial or makes a plea deal or dies. The possibility of additional charges other than those currently charged against her – for hebephilia crimes in the last century – remain a possibility. The late Jeffrey Epstein was a convicted hebephile, a person who has urges for post pubescent but under the age of consent children. Is Ghislaine one also? And are there others, famous and prominent men of power who have indulged as Jeffrey and allegedly Ghislaine have done? The ace in the hole for her, obviously, is, if she has info on other prominent hebephiles that the DOJ for its own partisan or PR reasons might like to selectively prosecute, she can trade that info for a lenient sentence and hopefully not be murdered for doing so. Her former lover, Jeffrey Epstein, might have committed suicide, as the Mainstream Media and the US Govt. urges you to believe, but there are some who find the coincidences, cameras being off, bones broken indicating he was strangled, guards happening to fall asleep as they were assigned to watch the most famous prisoner in the world, such that that it just might cause reasonable people to doubt the official narrative a little more than the corporate media and prison officials would wants us to doubt. The same fate might befall Ghislaine and we may never know just what she did. Whether her crimes were confined to herself and Epstein or whether there was a vast network of hebephiles joining in – or – in fairness to her – she is innocent as she claims, something that a trial, if she makes it to trial, might help us determine. stretcher during the funeral service in Jerusalem’s main convention hall on Nov. 10, 1991. The body is laying on a stretcher, draped in a white Jewish prayer shawl with black stripes as is it tradition of Jewish burials in Israel. (AP Photo/Natik Harnik) Ghislaine is fourth from the left. https://preview.redd.it/vnzmapdilrg51.png?width=432&format=png&auto=webp&s=bde723c918da88ce07aa1091b70c77baa76c0562 https://preview.redd.it/6v6qco3llrg51.png?width=509&format=png&auto=webp&s=7531e39667e4ee9f869b6c56ef8c53e118a8909f https://preview.redd.it/xu6z62snlrg51.png?width=574&format=png&auto=webp&s=c96a9decc1af25e8adc0e31b9cdad1d51c67faee
The hunt for Xavier Ligonnès is enough to drive you crazy. It’s like looking for a lost object, a bank card for example, of which we can determine the exact moment of disappearance: we used it to pay, it was there, and the next moment it is not there anymore. Logic dictates that we look for it where we usually store it (a wallet, a handbag), then where it could be (a back pocket of pants, a hall cabinet), and the less we find it , the more we seem to see it everywhere. Faced with absence, the brain constructs images (the credit card in an office drawer, as a bookmark in a book, forgotten on the counter of the last store) but these are fictions or mirages; they encourage further research but they do not provide a solution. Xavier Ligonnès’s apparent volatilization follows the same logic and produces the same effects on the investigation. The more weeks and months go by, the more places to look get smaller. Emmanuel Teneur ends up leading the investigators to the Société Générale agency on Place Royale in Nantes, but the safe he holds there is simply empty. A request for information on Joven Soliman is sent to the security attaché for the French Embassy in the Philippines. He is a sedevacantist priest, a fringe of traditionalist Catholicism who considers the Pope to be an imposter. The attaché transmits the hours of mass where he officiates. A trip to the Philippines is being considered, but that would mean going to the other side of the world to look for a needle in the thousands of islands of the archipelago. If this track has never been closed, nothing has supported it to date. Since we must push logic to the end, the investigators even contact the American authorities to corroborate or contradict the story of protected witnesses told by Ligonnès in his famous letter. The DEA has never heard of the individual, and the liaison officer based at the Miami consulate assures us that his last trip to the United States was in 2003: Ligonnès arrived in Florida on July 18 and left on August 22. The study of his entourage also did not highlight anyone capable of providing false papers to the fugitive, and if he had gone through a criminal network, the police believed that an informant would undoubtedly have warned them to protect himself. Then there are the news reports: the portrait of Ligonnès goes around France, and even if he has undoubtedly changed his physical appearance, his hairstyle, perhaps had even resorted to cosmetic surgery, someone, somewhere, might recognize him one day. After all, that’s how John List, a New Jersey insurance salesman who killed his wife and mother in 1971, was arrested. He waited for two of his children to return from school to coldly shoot them, then attended his youngest son’s football game before shooting bullets through him at home. He evaded justice for 18 years until a co-worker recognized him from a report on America’s Most Wanted. Rarely has a criminal case given rise to as many appeals as that of Ligonnès, because his stalking not only bewitches the police, it torments an entire country. More than 1000 reports, thousands of pages of depositions, letters, verifications. You have to imagine the miles of printed paper that this represents when they are stacked on a desk. The most recent: in July, after the broadcast of a Netflix documentary on the subject in the United States, the producers of the film claimed to have received an interesting lead in Chicago; but it’s just one more drop in the bucket. Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès has been seen in Annecy, Nancy, Cholet, Corsica (several times); on the side of a road, thumbs up, by a French tourist in Las Vegas; disguised as a chimney sweep in Nîmes; in a hotel in Cantal and in a pizzeria where he paid cash in a hurry; seen again in Germany, in Italy, and heard on the telephone by the reception of the psychiatric hospital of Troyes. Since he disappeared looking like the ordinary neighbor, since he was a representative and his profession has taken him to all corners of France, there is no less reason to see him in Mulhouse than in Roche-sur-Yon, and you can simply see him everywhere. Aire de Lançon-Provence in July 2020 Extracts: “It was the same look, except that he looked very sad, in the west, but he had the same glasses as in the photo you are showing me”; “He looked like a man like everyone else, but there was something odd in his eyes;” “Yesterday, around 1:00 pm, I was watching the news on television on the TFI channel. I saw a report where an individual killed his children and his wife before disappearing into the wild. (...) Seeing the gentleman in the photo, I made the connection with the person whom I had crossed Sunday afternoon because he had the same smile.” At the Vauvert tourist office: “I hardly look at the news, but Thursday evening I saw the photo of Mr. Ligonnès, I had the impression of having already seen him, my heart was racing.” Between Carpentras and Avignon, when he comes back from the bakery, the manager of one of Nicolas Sarkozy’s brothers crosses paths with a man with a beige bob, which he is certain is the fugitive. “I flashed,” he says. “For me, there is no doubt. This is him.” Still more letters are sent to the police to offer them help. An amateur astrologer requests a copy of the suspect’s birth certificate to establish a birth chart, a woman in child-like writing recommended a great medium who had helped her find her daughter who had become a junkie in Marseille. A prisoner asked in writing to be sent to Guinea to go hunt him down in the jungle, attaching to his letter a list of the necessary equipment, including infrared glasses and a “samurai sword.” With each letter, with each phone call to report a suspicious individual, investigators attempt to cross-reference the information. They patiently collect the testimonies of the depositors to know where Xavier Ligonnès was seen, if he was accompanied or not, what was his size and his outfit. Inconsistent testimonies or those referring to individuals who are too young (Ligonnès would be 59 years old today) and too small (he measures a little over 1.80 meters) are discarded. For the others, investigators check the CCTV recordings, when they have not been erased and when the cameras have actually recorded on tape. If the person has been spotted pumping gasoline, in a Géant Casino, or in a Courtepaille, they trace the means of payment used and seize the duplicates of bank cards. They give priority to the restaurants, especially the Buffalo Grill, Ligonnès’ favorite establishment. And when the trail is still hot and the dishes haven’t been done yet, they collect DNA from the plates and cutlery. A few months after the start of the investigation, the investigating judge in charge of the case will even be forced to ask them to slow down, the seals starting to take on the appearance of a china cabinet in a large restaurant. The Total service station in Lançon-Provence, July 2020 The PJ of Nantes believed on several occasions to finally have in hand the winning ticket and to be on the point of intercepting Ligonnès. This was the case in Borgo, where a photo taken from the video surveillance of a supermarket in this small Corsican town was very similar. Upon verification, it was only a local. They believed in it even more in January 2018 when they were told that an individual with a strong resemblance to Xavier Ligonnès was at the Saint-Désert Notre-Dame de Pitié monastery near Roquebrune-sur-Argens. About twenty police officers raided and searched the premises until they came across Brother Jean-Marie Joseph, who certainly looked disturbingly like Ligonnès, but who was not him. In still other cases, the police were never able to “close the track,” and it is perhaps Ligonnès who was seen. For example, in Lançon-Provence, April 26, 2011. That day, at 2:44 am, Mahjoub B., a handler by profession, parks his vehicle at the Total service station after the Lançon-Provence toll. He fills up, then goes to the store to pay. On his way, he passes a 45- to 50-year-old man, about six feet tall, who hangs out there between the gas pumps and the store. When he returns to his vehicle, his colleague asks him if he has seen the man, whom he is convinced is the one everyone is looking for, the one who killed his family in Nantes. Mahjoub then takes a new look at the individual, notices that he is wearing glasses, light jeans, that he has brown hair a little graying and a beard of a day. At his feet, four rigid shopping bags, one red, one white, one brown and one whose color he cannot distinguish. Inside the store, employees also noticed the individual. He’s been out for almost three hours. At one point, he walks in to ask for free coffee, as part of a promotion. Behind her cash register, Jocelyne H. notes a detail: he is missing a tooth. “The second on the left, I believe,” she says when heard by investigators. This is information that has never filtered out and yet, it’s true – a little detail, Xavier Ligonnès was missing a tooth. Little by little, the space has filled in, but you can always see it when he smiles. The images from the station’s surveillance cameras are confusing: if this man is not the one we are looking for, it must be his twin brother. At 3 a.m., the cameras show him hitchhiking by a Volkswagen Combi, which investigators quickly find. The driver’s name is Christophe B. He has not heard of the case, and he must be one of the only ones in the country; but Christophe is no longer listening to the news because, he says, “the news is bad all the time.” From the hitchhiker on the night of the 25th to the 26th, he remembers that he “did not smell very good” and that he had a growing beard. They didn’t discuss much. The man simply told him that he was coming from Paris where he had gone to see “his sick old father,” and that he wanted to take the train to Aix-en-Provence. Christophe dropped him off at a motorway exit, the 30 or the 31, between 4 a.m. and 4.15 a.m. The surveillance cameras at Aix train station allow you to get back on track. He is filmed on the forecourt at 6 am, he wears light pants, a dark jacket. He buys a ticket at 1.20 euro, free destination. Then we lose track. Despite all the checks, despite all the cameras, it will be impossible to track this man perfectly resembling Dupont de Ligonnès, who could nevertheless have confirmed that he was, at least on this date, still alive. How can one suddenly evaporate in plain sight, and how could a man who has collected chess all his life accomplish this feat? The XDDL mystery makes it possible to scaffold all the theories. These flourish in books, in docudramas and, of course, on the Internet. We imagine Ligonnès protected by the secrecy of a monastery, flown to the United States, where he can go unnoticed thanks to his English without an accent, or even on the escape alongside a woman he would have manipulated. The police officers in charge of the case do not work on theories or psychological profiles, but according to a scientific approach: they always start from a fact, which opens a track, which they then explore until the end, close, and move on to another. This method is also a way to protect yourself from endless guesswork, or insanity, but it doesn’t always work. Several times, the track looks like a highway towards the fugitive, and the police are convinced that they will finally close this investigation. But they end up stumbling upon the worst thing ever, as was the case with the allusion to Emmanuel Teneur’s sailboat: coincidences. Coincidence number 1. When the Ligonnès C5 was discovered in the Formula 1 car park in Roquebrune, the night watchman informed them that two reservations had been made in the name of Dupont Xavier, one on April 5 and the another on April 14. The hotel manager then specifies that the first reservation was actually made for April 6. That day, however, XDDL was in Nantes, probably digging the grave of Thomas, murdered the day before. Had he thought of accomplishing his crimes earlier or had he reserved a room for an accomplice, who might have been hiding something for him? The videos of April 5 and 6 are no longer available, but payment for the room was made with a Crédit Agricole credit card. The number gives a name, Faiçal E., and an address. Could it be an accomplice? The checks are launched immediately lead to a man who simply used “Dupont Xavier” as an assumed name - like Ligonnès - to book a night in the same hotel, the same year, the same month, within ten days. Coincidence number 2. The liaison officer in Miami launches research around the various aliases used by XDDL, for operations of “mystery shopper” or to stay in hotels. In the FBI file, he finds a certain Xavier Laurent, one of Ligonnès’s favorite nicknames, installed in Jacksonville, north of Florida. Jacksonville is not just any city. This is where Hugues, the cousin of XDDL lived, and it is also this locality that Ligonnès and his friend Michel Rétif declared to customs in 1990 during their trip to the United States. At the very end of the personalized letter sent to Michel on April 8, Xavier Ligonnès seemed to allude to it: “I will think about you there.(Not the right to tell you where, but you went there with me...in November 90…a clue to dig.LOL).” But this Xavier Laurent is another twist of fate: the police come across a certain Evan Shaffer, a petty criminal who has chosen this alias to commit crimes. Coincidence number 3. Ten days before the crimes, XDDL reconnects with a childhood sweetheart, Catherine K., whom he met in Versailles in the 1980s. Between March 22 and 24, they exchange text messages and try to find a date to meet the week of April 12, in Chamonix. These messages intrigue the investigators, some answers seem surprising, almost illogical, and they suspect Ligonnès of having wanted to ensure a logistical relay in his escape. A little later, a certain Patrick O. reports having seen XDDL in the queue of a Sixt car rental agency at Nice airport on April 17, 2011. By peeling the names of dozens of people having rented a car that day, the police officers miss the infarction: in capital letters, white on black, appears the surname of Catherine, who would have rented a vehicle at 1:30 am. A few hours later, their heart rate drops again: it was only a perfect disambiguation. Each coincidence causes the same chain of reactions. First a eureka!, the certainty of having finally found the tiny detail from which to trace everything. The police then cast their nets like fishermen on the high seas, telephone or banking requisitions, requests for listings, identity checks. Then they wait. It can last from a few hours to several weeks, and inevitably it is a burning, nagging wait, tense by the fear that the track will fly away. Finally, there is the immense disappointment and the obligation to face reality again: Xavier Ligonnès is still nowhere to be found, a track has flown again, and we have to hoist the rock up the mountain again. Those who have worked or are still working on the affair strive to maintain a cold, rational, police facade. But little by little, by dint of chasing a shadow - not even a shadow, a ghost - obsession lurks. One of them, a police officer with a professional Protestant pastor, now out of the investigation, still returned until recently to consult the investigation file every week, saying he simply wanted to put the 12,000 pages of documents in order. For a year, a criminal analyst has also been mobilized. He enters all the elements of the file in a software which digests them and spits out, perhaps, new threads to draw. In the meantime, the two police officers who are still following the investigation - one at the PJ in Nantes, one at the OCRVP, in Paris - “live” the case, as their colleagues say. Among these thousands of pages there is no doubt a clue that has gone unnoticed or, better, a lead that has not yet been explored. Track number 1. Who typed “fraternité saint-thomas becket” on Google on April 3 at 11:34 pm, before clicking on a link in the Cité-Catholique forum? Is it the same person who, the same night at 2:01 am, from an iPhone, did the search for “communion state mortal sin,” bringing it to the same forum? On April 8, the user of this phone will in any case send the search engine the request “hello Chacou”, which will lead him (her) again to the Cité-Catholique forum. Chacou was one of the pseudonyms of Xavier Ligonnès. Investigators saw crazier coincidences, but still: can it really be someone other than Xavier Ligonnès, who himself connected to Cité-Catholique almost every day of his escape? The last article published on the site about Saint-Thomas Becket, an ultra-traditionalist fraternity which practices mass in Latin, dates from January 2009. It indicates the name of its founder, Father Jean-Pierre Gac, and specifies this: “Born in the diocese of Blois where there are two communities (…), the fraternity has also extended in the diocese of Toulon - a parish is also entrusted to them in Ollioules.” Ollioules is located six kilometers from La Seyne-on-Mer, where XDDL spent its penultimate known night, and 94 kilometers from Roquebrune. Jean-Pierre Gac was questioned by the police but claimed to have never been in contact with the fugitive. Investigators have always believed in the possibility that Ligonnès took refuge in a monastery in the Var. They considered to search them one by one, before understanding that there are dozens and dozens of brotherhoods and fraternities, that they are not always castles of the Purple Rivers but sometimes simple farms, lost in the hinterland. To mount a search, it would be necessary to ensure that they do not communicate with each other, and therefore to visit them all at the same time. The examining magistrate quickly tempered the fervor of the police and declared the operation impossible. Track number 2. Xavier Ligonnès had two secret Facebook accounts. The first is named after his favorite country singer, Waylon Jennings. One of his nieces had also found him a month before the crimes, sending him a message, “but who is behind this nickname?,” to which XDDL had immediately replied “How did you manage to arrive on the Waylon Jennings Facebook profile? Too clever! Microsoft Advantage??? Kiss.” The second account concerns a certain “George Town” residing in Nantes and is linked to one of Ligonnès’ many email addresses, [email protected]. The police send a requisition to the management of Facebook in Palo Alto to obtain the creation and connection logs of the two profiles. The answer comes in days: the first was created in February 2010, the second in December 2007, when France had barely discovered the social network. Above all, the response indicates that Ligonnès connected to the two accounts on the night of April 4 to 5, between the first assassinations and that of Thomas. The profiles have since been deleted but suggest he could have used them to communicate with a third party. Catherine K., the youthful lover that XDDL contacted a few days before the tragedy, also reported to the police that she had been approached by a certain Philippe Steiner, whom she did not know, around May 20. He sent her a strange message, suggesting that they might have had a relationship in the past. When she went to respond, the profile had already been deleted. Today there are almost 100 Facebook accounts on behalf of Waylon Jennings, some are created and deleted every day. Track number 3. When the Ligonnès family is having their last meal on April 3, 2011, around 9 pm, a young woman walks through the glass doors of the police station on Place Waldeck-Rousseau in Nantes. Originally from a small village near Vannes, Julie is a BTS student and comes to file a complaint: the Twingo that her father lets her drive has been broken into, probably during the night. There was not much inside, but Julie reported the theft of her car radio as well as the vehicle’s logbook, which she normally stored in a small Renault gray faux leather pouch. This same pouch was found on April 22 in the dresser of the Ligonnès living room where Xavier used to store his papers, during the investigation the day after the discovery of the bodies. The police did not follow this track: they put the break-in of Julie’s car on the account of one of the Ligonnès sons, Arthur, who had already been arrested for theft of a bicycle and driving under the influence of cannabis. But why would Arthur have taken the vehicle papers with the car stereo, and why would he put them in the middle of his father’s papers? And if the theft was committed by Xavier Ligonnès a few hours before killing his family, how can this be explained? Was he able to steal other identity papers to facilitate his escape? In this case, it is always about cars. Those imported by XDDL from the United States, the Citroën C5 from the escape, the vehicles he claimed had been stolen over the years: the first at the Brest police station in 1998, while living in Pornic, a second at the same time at the Saint-Nazaire police station, and then again, in Nantes, on May 17, 2006, a Golf convertible finally found then sold a few months later to a mechanic, a friend of Cédric M. Cédric M. is never far away when it comes to cars. He is also a mechanic, that’s how Ligonnès met him in Vannes a few years earlier. He is one of the recipients of the departure letter, therefore a close friend. He was even the first employee of the RDC. Ligonnès regularly went to visit him in Locmalo in the heart of Morbihan, a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Nantes. With Cédric and his partner, Renaud, they went to the local creperie. They had lunch there together on March 31, 2011, four days before the crimes. In the village, it is said that Ligonnès took care of the dark accounts of the “guys,” who have quite a reputation. Could he have built up a slush fund there that no one would have found until now? Cédric and Renaud’s garage is not indicated by any sign. It is at the end of a road. In the yard, wrecks of American cars and a goat on a leash. Inside, Renaud is working on a shiny yellow Cadillac. His attitude is confusing. He is angry with the police who have never come to question him when he is, according to him, “the last to have seen [Xavier] alive. But I will not tell you when, because that the date is important,” he adds before returning to his Cadillac, wrench in hand. To date, Renaud has still not been heard by investigators. At the same time, reports continue to flow. Ligonnès seen in Mulhouse, on the four lanes between Saint-Brieuc and Rennes in a Peugeot 308 and overtaking on the right, Ligonnès seen again in Tunis and Toulouse. Ligonnès seen, but never caught. Next Section-Part 2D
Despite all the hype, I haven't seen an FRSX DD post. I did some DD on them a few months ago when I entered my position when MARK and stuff was getting pumped. They work directly with FLIR and had a better balance sheet, so I sold out of MARK super early and have been in and out of FRSX a few times. I'm currently in and got in Friday at 1.34 I think, looking for an exit eventually (As we all are) but I think I will average up tomorrow if I can get in sub 2.0. Anyways, here's the DD, cool company. Be forewarned I'm a novice and this is should not be taken as direct financial advise.
We are a technology company engaged in the design, development and commercialization of sensor systems for the automotive industry. Through our wholly owned subsidiaries, Foresight Automotive and Eye-Net Mobile, we develop both “in-line-of-sight” vision systems and “beyond-line-of-site” cellular-based applications. Foresight Automotive’s vision sensor is a four-camera system based on 3D video analysis, advanced algorithms for image processing and sensor fusion. Eye-Net Mobile’s cellular-based application is a V2X (vehicle-to-everything) accident prevention solution based on real-time spatial analysis of clients’ movement.
In the Forbes article and as noted above, the company is using multiple cameras which allows them 3D type vision, something I'm not sure if the competitors have? Noted in the Forbes article was their ability to track and analyze 6 symptoms of Covid, and Im curious if this plays a part. What those symptoms are is beyond me, at best I can come up with three detectable via camera, maybe something I'm missing? Either way it could be an edge up.
The system is designed to detect up to six symptoms associated with the COVID-19 virus. The touch-free system is expected to be placed in entrances or security control counters of high traffic areas such as airports, hospitals, sports stadiums, universities, shopping malls and residential complexes. The system’s cameras will scan each person going through, in order to rapidly detect symptoms. The detection of the four main symptoms of the disease will take up to one minute, and an alert will be sent in case of a suspected infection. "The current thermal-screening solutions only detect elevated body temperature. Taking into consideration that lack of initial fever is common in COVID-19 cases," he explains, "patients with no fever may be missed if the surveillance definition focuses on fever detection only. The use of both thermal and visible light cameras allows us to detect several symptoms, in addition to elevated body temperature. This wouldn't have been possible by using thermal cameras alone." The system will combine the results for each detected symptom, increasing the likelihood of accurate detection.
Beyond the Covid stuff, here's a little background on the stuff they're working on and the markets they're in along with awards and many other accolades. It also appears they've partnered with another company whom trades around 146 a share, I missed this the first time I did my DD.
In May 2019, we signed an exclusive distribution agreement in Japan with Cornes Technologies Limited. According to the agreement, Cornes Technologies will have exclusive rights to promote and sell QuadSight system in Japan. Cornes Technologies is a renowned trading company that plays a significant role in establishing and developing commercial links and trade between Japan and the rest of the world. In June 2019, we signed our first commercial agreement with Elbit Systems Land Ltd., a subsidiary of Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq and TASE: ESLT). The commercial agreement is for exclusive marketing of Foresight’s proprietary image processing software for the defense, paramilitary and homeland security markets. Elbit, a leading defense electronics company based in Israel, intends to integrate our image processing software into its products, systems and solutions, and to market it globally. Also, in June 2019, we signed a technological agreement with a Chinese Tier One automotive supplier. The agreement is for a multiphase technological cooperation to develop smart mobility solutions for the Chinese automotive industry, and specifically for two Chinese OEMs. In September 2019, we signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Wuhan Guide Infrared Co. Ltd., a large Chinese corporation. Wuhan Guide Infrared develops, manufactures and markets infrared thermal imaging systems through its subsidiary, Global Sensor Technology. The agreement provides for cooperation in the integration of Wuhan Guide Infrared’s solutions with the QuadSight vision system. The QuadSight system also gained industry recognition by winning several prestigious technology and innovation awards: ● 2019 CES Innovation Awards Honoree in the Vehicle Intelligence and Self-driving Technology category; ● 2019 Edison Awards Gold winner in the Autonomous Vehicle category; and ● 2020 BIG Innovation Awards winner, presented by the Business Intelligence Group.
Obviously this means nothing to most of you, but the fact that they're attracted to defense and heavy equipment could mean big things irregardless of this. This whole Covid thing could fast track their tech and give them real world feedback, it would be win win for them, and obviously for us. Lets get to the numbers. They've got a good balance sheet
We have financed our operations to date primarily through proceeds from sales of our Ordinary Shares and ADSs and warrants. We have incurred losses and generated negative cash flows from operations since January 2011. Since January 2011, we have not generated any revenue from the sale of products, and we do not expect to generate revenues from sale of our products in the next few years.
Warrants/shares - The company looks to offer shares and warrants like candy but from what it looks like, MOST of them should have already been exercised. See here. I'm unfortunately running out of time so I cannot look in depth into the warrants and convertible notes, plus that stuff all gets pretty heavy and is not an area im vastly familiar with. Someone else wants to check it out, control F warrants/notes/shares out https://www.bamsec.com/filing/121390020008245?cik=1691221
Bag Holders - This stock has pumped and popped pretty large recently. Remember people will be bag holding and looking to get out of their positions at minimal loss, or even in the green. Expect people taking profit all the way up.
The END. The company recently had an offering. Stocks have been rallying off stuff like that, as it lessens the very first risk I highlighted above, money. The company has a good balance sheet (Numbers pulled from 2019 20-F) so any extra money they generate is a bonus. Hype is picking up and they created a new twitter, if we get PR or tweets, with this low float, it could literally go to the moon. For reference, IDEX had/has a float 6x larger. How float works, see here. I browsed stocktwits before typing this up and someone had a screenshot where it was claimed FRSX was on NBC nightly news. Anyone able to confirm? I know most of you wont read this because no rocket emojis, but this is the type of DD I like to do on a company I'm holding over night. That said If you don't care, hop on because the hype is here. Look at the past pops, we should be in the clear to at least 2 dollars. Good luck, lets get this bad boy to the moon! Edit; I just found this, which does confirm they can detect cough, fatigue AND fever. The 3d System they use seems like it has advantages, and I also forgot its not energy emitting (search the 10k) and such will not interfere with other nearby systems (IT/Cameras/Radios/etc) - Good for stadiums/casinos/concerts etc, and as pointed out in the comments they've regained compliance and are not at risk of being delisted currently.
Based on the Company’s extensive knowledge using FLIR thermal cameras, artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced algorithms, the system is designed to rapidly and accurately detect some of the main symptoms associated with the COVID-19 virus. Foresight’s expertise in automotive vision systems and advanced algorithms will be applied to detect symptoms of COVID-19 including cough and signs of fatigue, in addition to high body temperature, thus increasing the likelihood of accurate detection and potentially eliminating false positive results. These symptoms can be identified by using the Company’s intellectual property that combines both visible-light and thermal cameras.
https://preview.redd.it/5y5vc2f1sbs51.jpg?width=869&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=1e11b50b45bb4b22f71f6d0dbfdbea3ce0c28316 Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is a television system where the signals are monitored primarily for monitoring and security purposes but are not distributed publicly. CCTV installation is observing the camera's input somewhere on monitors and relies on cameras being strategically placed. We are very capable of installing any type of CCTV camera installation in your office, shopping center, home, or anywhere else in Janakpuri. There are several types of CCTV Cameras Installation that we generally use to install for each client in Janakpuri. Dome Security Camera: Dome cameras are commonly used in casinos, retail, home, and restaurant surveillance systems. These Security Cameras are named as the shape of their dome. More fashionable dome cameras blend very well with their surroundings in Janakpuri. Bullet Security Cameras: These are a box camera variation built into a weatherproof enclosure which is permanently sealed. They can be used without the need for additional hardware outdoors or indoors because of their attractive price, and all in one design in Janakpuri. IP Security Cameras: An Internet protocol camera is a type of digital video camera which is commonly used for surveillance and capable of sending and receiving data by the Internet and a computer network. IP camera or net Cam is generally used for surveillance purposes in Janakpuri. Wireless IP Security Cameras: Cloud cameras and wireless IP cameras make it possible for you to set up a security system without running wires around your business or home in Janakpuri.
https://preview.redd.it/aavrf30emjq51.jpg?width=1700&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=a72f6b21b5045caf5f03872a3d669958cd6bf802 CCTV is also known as Video Surveillance system. Now days it is useful and used practically everywhere in showrooms, walls, sensitive areas and offices. It keeps a strict watch on illegal Movements, thefts and crimes. Closed-circuit television (CCTV) installation is the use of video cameras to transmit a signal to a specific place, on a limited set of monitors. It differs from broadcast television in that the signal is not openly transmitted, though it may employ point to point (P2P), point to multipoint, or mesh wireless links. Though almost all video cameras fit this definition, the term is most often applied to those used for surveillance in areas that may need monitoring such as banks, casinos, airports, military installations, and convenience stores. In industrial plants, CCTV installation equipment may be used to observe parts of a process from a central control room, for example when the environment is not suitable for humans. CCTV systems may operate continuously or only as required to monitor a particular event. A more advanced form of CCTV, utilizing digital video recorders (DVRs), provides recording for possibly many years, with a variety of quality and performance options and extra features (such as motion detection and email alerts). More recently, decentralized IP cameras, some equipped with megapixel sensors, support recording directly to network attached storage devices, or internal flash for completely stand-alone operation. Surveillance of the publicizing CCTV installation is particularly common in many areas around Cannaught Place.
I started working in a large chain, 3 star hotel a few years ago out of necessity. I worked audit and I preferred it but my health didn't. The place was kind of a free-for-all as far as employees and work ethic goes (we had an employee arrested for prostitution in a sister hotel, staying on her employee discount, during a huge prostitution sting...lmao). I was a little taken aback by it, it was definitely nothing like I'd ever experienced before but in general the people were ok, the GM was a DICK. Well, a year or two into it and all of a sudden, corporate swoops in and fires GM. The interim GM was great, but it was not to last. I actually picked up another job but because the GM was so awesome, I decided to stay on at the hotel also. She made an amazing arrangement for me with my schedule. The next thing I hear, they fired the AGM as well and without offering the job internally, they hired someone from outside for the AGM position. This is also while the interim GM is training the new GM and is on her way back home. So, I called AGM to discuss my schedule and damn...I didn't know I could piss off someone I'd never met. She was RUDE. She did schedule me though. I go to work my shift and was notified about a tip left in the cash drawer for a housekeeper...ok, weird but whatever. Well, just so happens that with the exception of counting my drawer on and off shift, I was never in the actual cash drawer that night. I also never touched the tip except to place the sealed envelope it was in under the cash tray (to this day, I have no idea if there was even money in it when I got there or not as I had no reason to open the envelope). The next morning I got a call asking me where the tip went and I told them, I'd slid it under the cash tray. It was all done on camera. I actually felt really bad that it had come up missing, they don't get tipped enough, for sure. Well, a month goes by and I never get called to work, so I go in. The AGM told me that I'd been "removed from the schedule". What??? The nasty AGM implied that it was because I had stolen the tip money and when I asked to see the cameras for the night, I was told that "nothing could be seen". I just laughed at her. Something in me told me that there was something off with this idiot. So I call a friend from school that had worked at a different hotel in another town with her and surprise, surprise...there had been several people let go for theft or issues of mysteriously disappearing money and she was the common denominator. I mentioned it to a friend that still worked at my hotel and called the regional manager as well. I kind of felt blown off but then I kept hearing stories of missing money from MY hotel and despite any issues we had, that wasn't one of them. Fast forward to just a few weeks ago, and GUESS who got fired for multiple instances of theft?? Karma's a bitch, bitch.
OBLIGATORY FILLER MATERIAL – Just take a hard left at Daeseong-dong…5
Continuing “Hey, Viv!”, I say, as we’re all being shuttled onto the bus which will take us to our hotel, “Toss me one of those miniatures, if you please. Yeah. Of course, Vodka’ll do. It’s bloody dusty round these parts.” Viv chuckles and asks if anyone else wants anything. He’s a consummate scrounger and somehow sweet-talked a demure and pulchritudinous female Air China cabin attendant out of her phone number, Email address, and a case of 100 airline liquor miniatures. That he looks like a marginally graying version of Robert Mitchum in his heyday and speaks fluent Dutch, French, and Italian might explain his success. I mean, a guy with four ex-wives can’t be all wrong, right? He’s a definite outlier in this crowd. We could be characterized as a batch of aging natural geoscientists who collectively, sans Viv, add up to an approximate eight on the “Looker” scale. Besides the years, the mileage, the climatic, and industrial ravages, it’s a good thing we all have expansive personalities, as most of us are dreadful enough to make a buzzard barf. But, save for Viv, no one presently here is on the make. Oh, sure; we’ll all sweet talk some fair nubile into a free drink or a double when we really ordered a regular drink, but we’re all married, most terminally, that is, over 35 years and counting. The odd thing is that save and except for Viv, none of us married folk had ever been divorced. That is strange, considering that the global divorce rate hovers around 50%, and we are often called to be apart from kith and kin for prolonged periods. However, we are always faithful and committed to our marital units and those vows we spoke all those many long decades ago. But, hey, we’re all seriously male and not anywhere near dead; and there’s no penalty for just looking, right? Continuing. We’re all loaded on a pre-war, not certain which war, by the way, bus which stank of fish, kimchee, and diesel fuel. We really don’t care even a tiny, iotic amount. It’s free transport, we’re tired of traveling, and not keen on walking any further than we absolutely have to. Viv has been passing out boozy little liquor miniatures, and I’ve been handing out cigars since I bought a metric shitload back in Dubai Duty-Free and somehow got them all through customs. We didn’t light up, as there was neither a driver nor handler present. So, we figured we’d all just wait on the cigars, and concentrate on having a little ground-level “Welcome to Best Korea” party until the powers that be got their collective shit together and provided drivers, herders, and handlers. We sat there for 15 long minutes. Being the international ambassadors of amity and insobriety, we started making noises like “Hey! Where’s our fucking driver?” and “I am Doctor Academician! Of All State Russian Geological Survey! How dare you make me wait? ” Suddenly, a couple of characters in ill-fitting gray suits and fake Rays Bans are outside the bus having a collective meltdown. Somehow, someone fucked up and put us on a ‘regular’ bus and not the ‘VIP’ bus. In other words, we got to see what the locals really got to ride around Pyongyang on instead of our supposed to be impressed by the bus that wasn’t there; but was now just arriving. A spanking new purple-and-chrome Mercedes long-haul bus shows up. It even has our group name emblazoned above the placard that normally tells where the bus is headed or who it is for: “’국제 석유 지질 과학 연합’ [Gugje Seog-yu Jijil Gwahag Yeonhab] or ‘International Union of Petroleum Geological Sciences’”. We are brusquely ordered off our present bus and into the opulent, obviously bespoke, bright yellow faux-leather interior Mercedes-Benz Tourismo RH M. It’s so new and so obviously a ploy to get us to think that all things here are so new and opulent, it even smells of that new car, ah, bus, aroma. “Well, we’ll take care of that soon enough”, I muse, as the bus is equipped with ashtrays and we’re going on the scenic route to our hotel, which is only 25 or so kilometers from the airport. However, it was announced that it’ll take us about 2 hours to get to our hotel since we need to see the city in its best light and get a feeling for the town if we should ever find ourselves lost and alone. We all know what’s going on. They’re getting our rooms ‘ready’ for our arrival and need some extra time to make sure everything’s all wired in and transmitting properly. “Guys”, I muse to our new handlers, “I’ve been to the Soviet Union, pre-wall fall. I stayed in places where I was definitely among the first westerners ever to grace their porticos. We’re a busload of natural scientists, of eight different nationalities, covering the economic spectrum from staunch capitalism to sociable socialism to hard-core communism. You even think for a second we’re going to spill any beans about anything you’d find interesting or useful? Think again.” In fact, it would become a running joke between us all to see what sort of fake bombshells we could drop into the normal conversation what would give the listener’s the greatest case of the jibblies. But for now, our bags were all loaded into the cargo compartment of this very, very nice, I must admit, mode of conveyance. Our handlers: ‘Yuk’, ‘No’, ‘Man’, and ‘Kong’, are all seated upfront and please with their latest tally of bodies. We have a couple of shady fellow travelers with the knock-off Ray-Bans and shiny gray suits that just appeared out of the woodwork in the back, seated by the loo, watching over all of us, and we’re going on a fucking city tour, whether we like it or not. We’re all present and accounted for. Let’s keep our camera in our bags for the time being as the drinking and smoking lights had just been lit as the bus fired up its new German-engineered and machined precision diesel engine. The bus rumbled to life and after a moment or two of checking that all dials, gauges, and indicators were where they were supposed to be; without so much as a cursory glance, we pulled out into traffic. Except there was none. Not another bus, pushbike, tap-tap, scooter, car, truck, hover-board, or motorcycle in sight. Nothing. Seems we were a big deal. They shut down the main drag so we wouldn’t be encumbered by such proletariat things like traffic jams or people-things cluttering the roadway, clambering for a look at the Western scientific cadre. So, away we whizzed, sans traffic and into the very belly of the beast, and onward; eventually, towards our hotel. Our handlers were very kind to point out passing scenes of interest. “Look, look! There’s the Potong River. Notice all the lovely birds, ‘eh what? See the Norwegian Blue? Beautiful plumage!” “See here, look. Here’s the Taedong River. Many forms of fish in the river. Maybe we’ll see some fishermen. If you like, we can stop, and ask them about today’s catch.” We all declined, as we were certain that the fish the ‘random fisherman’ we’d talk to was flown in fresh from elsewhere earlier in the day. Besides, we were comfortable. We had our drinks, our cigars, and we were leaving the driving to someone else. After being driven around the city and seeing all the wonderful monuments, like the faux Arch of Triumph, which looks exactly unlike its namesake Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile in Paris. The Arch of Reunification, a monument to the goal of a reunified Korea, which, by necessity, is unfinished. Then there’s the Tomb of King Tongmyŏng, where people are lining up, just dying’ to get in. Finally, we all called for our hotel, the Yanggakdo, after yet another mausoleum, the Kumsusan Memorial Palace of the Sun. Arches or tombs. Such a stunning array of monuments and places of less than moderate interest. We were interested in Mirae Scientists street (Future Scientists street). It is a street in a newly developed area in Pyongyang to house scientific institutions of the Kim Chaek University of Technology and its employees. But we were told that it was too late, there was not much there to see, we needed to express written permission to visit, and we’d be going there tomorrow or next week. We wheel into the parking lot of the Yanggakdo Hotel and are immediately unimpressed by the pseudo-Baroque concrete fiasco that appears to stand, wobbly, before us. It’s a page right out of the Soviet Construction-For-The-Masses Handbook. A cold, gray concrete edifice with multitudes of seemingly little, tiny windows. A perfect metaphor for our travels thus far; look at the expansiveness of Best Korean wonders, through this pinhole. However, we judged too soon. We were told to go inside and check-in, whilst our luggage would be de-bussed for us and handled by the expertly efficient hotel staff. The lobby was opulent, tastefully laid out in earth tones of facades of veneers of marble, granite, some garnet-mica schist, if my hand lens doesn’t lie, some Prepaleozoic anatectic migmatite, displaying intricate and intense plication, xenoliths, and graphic delineation of minerals by segregation through melting points. There was a gigantic well-appointed and well kept up aquarium, complete with snuffling sharks and nuclear-submarine sized groupers. Very handsome indeed. Impressions increasing slightly. Then we see that there’s a bloody casino on the bottom floor of the hotel, several bars interspersed throughout the hotel, and karaoke, of which I’m not terribly fond, but some of my European counterparts almost swooned at the prospect. There are a large pool and weight rooms/gymnasia, saunas and places to relax outside of one’s room, but still under the watchful eye of the thousands of ill-concealed video cameras at every turn. “Covert surveillance” may be a thing in Best Korea, but it’s a practice still leaves a lot to be desired. The Eastern Siberian Russians back before the wall fell were more covert with their obvious button audio microphones woven into the fabric covering the headboard of your Intourist bed than the Best Koreans here. Their cameras were ‘disguised’ as flower arrangements, overhead lights, and speakers inexplicably placed into things like standing ashtrays, refuse bins, and randomly placed holes in the wall. The floors were all covered with exquisite what looked to be hand-woven rugs of most vibrant crimson and gold; the usual Communistic colors. Always with some sort of floral pattern or pattern that’s supposed to be reflective of nature, as I was told. Evidently, for workers to remember what nature was as they don’t get out much with 14 to 16 hours workdays here in the Worker’s Paradise. Enough of the travelogue; we all wander up to the front desk, and each with their own passport in hand, request our reserved rooms. We supposed that we would all have rooms on different floors as the reservations were made, expired, re-made, juggled, rebooked, allowed to expire, re-jiggered, and finally formalized a scant week before we left the UK. Nope. No such luck. We were all on the 39th floor. The place boasts 47 floors, of which, the top floor is a revolving restaurant. Evidently, food tastes better when you’re rotating. However, it won’t spin unless you first buy a drink. We had that thing whirling like a NASA centrifuge after its discovery the second night. Yeah, all 12 of us are bivouacked on the 39th floor. A floor with approximately 30 rooms. I guess we could have played “Room Roulette” and see who got which room and who’s luggage. Or we could switch every day or two to drive our handlers nuts. Or, we could just take our assigned rooms, which were conveniently located one empty room apart. Meaning, no one had adjoining rooms. Why? Fuck if I know. We didn’t spend much time in our rooms, and that time was either sleeping or showering. We’d all meet at the bar, casino, restaurant, karaoke, bowling alley (all three lanes) or actual meeting rooms every once in a while when we thought we should get together and compare notes. It was the most inexplicable situation. Plus, we spent an inordinate amount of time waiting on the fucking elevators to take us to our room. These elevators, and if you think you’re going to get a batch of aging senior scientists to schlep it up 39 floor’s worth of stairs, think again; are the slowest elevators in the civilized world. And that was the consensus of scientists representing not only Europe and North America, but Russia as well. 15-25 minutes added to each journey, up or down; stopping on every floor, except 5, on the way down.. Jesus Q. Fuck, dudes. If you can’t construct a bleedin’ elevator that works better than those at the Sozvezdie Medveditsy Guest House in Lesosibirsk, Eastern Siberia; then I suggest you seriously rethink your plans for world domination and new world order. Grako and Erwin once, while waiting for the fucking elevator, figured out that we were earning some US$25 each just to wait for the lift to arrive and take us to our rooms. Every day. Sometimes several times per day. With that, we all agreed to toss our “waiting time” funds into a kitty and on our last day of captivity here, blow it all in the hotel casino. Whatever became of that would be donated to the Koreans we thought most deserving of our largesse. Would it be our handlers? How about the Korean Scientists we’d be meeting? The affable and most accommodating concierge? Or that plucky little Korean charwoman who was always on our floor and kept everything spotless, right down to our freshly laundered and pressed field clothes and newly polished field boots; done without our requesting or knowledge? Only time would tell. It could be a fortune or it could be bupkiss. Just like our expectations of the Heavenly Kingdom where we were currently sequestered. As it was, with our official protestations, they kept only photocopies of our passports as we roundly refused and threatened a full-scale karaoke battle right here in the lobby if they didn’t relinquish our passports immediately. I had broken out my nastiest cigar and was primed to offend. With that, we all had our keys and trooped over to the elevators for our first, of many, inexplicable waits. We made many uncharitable and potentially nasty remarks about the Anti-Western posters that made up some of the wall décor. Once we finally made it to our floor, we all fanned out to find our rooms. Viv found his first and was quite pleased to report to the rest of us that there was a “Welcome” basket in his room. We all hoped that we would be receiving one a well. I was in room 3914; which I considered a close call, but later only wondered as there was no 3913. Upon entering, I saw it was 1980s Hotel 6 opulent, but with an excellent over-city view. True it was late, dark, and the city was only somewhat lit up; I was looking forward to the view of the town in full daylight. The room had a ‘king’ bed; that is if the king in question was Tutankhamen, the stubby, Egyptian boy king. The bed had no mattress pad and no box spring but it was hard enough for my liking. Many of my compatriots didn’t agree and complained bitterly. They eventually received thin mattress pads for all their kvetching. There was an ancient Japanese color television, which only had 2 English language channels - Al Jazeera and the BBC, which was on a dated news loop. Watching the local channel is amusing though; the ads for ‘personal enhancements’ were hilarious, even without understanding a word of the language. There were a couple of chairs and a low table, built-in dresser drawers for our clothes, a rusty and probably unusable room safe with corroded batteries, a small table built out of the wall that would serve as my travel office, and would-you-believe, a rotary telephone; how’s that for nostalgia? There was an old-model radio built into the nightstand next to the bed. I was very surprised to find it not only received AM, FM but shortwave as well. I had brought along a pair of Bose headphones and during some rainy down days, spent many fun-filled, and I mean that sincerely, hours DXing from the comfort of my ‘enormous’ king bed. Beyond that, the room was very nondescript. Like any other of the millions of rooms in hotels around the world that unlike here, aren’t claiming a 5-star rating. I mean, it was clean, if not a little long in the tooth. But didn’t smell too terrible, even after I took care of that with my Camacho offerings. It was utilitarian, everything worked, even the water pressure, which surprisingly could strip off layers of one’s skin if you weren’t careful. The bathroom, though no Jacuzzi, had a large enough bathtub for the occasional soaking period. Western accouterments in the bathroom were also welcome additions. My knees can’t handle the traditional squat-holes any longer. There were an electric teapot and several brands of tea, but no coffee. A quick “Gee! I sure wish I had some coffee!” to the four walls and damned if 30 minutes later, a porter didn’t arrive to replenish my tea and courtesy in-room coffee… There was a small Japanese brand in-room refrigerator which I thought might house a mini-bar. Oh, no! It was actually a complimentary larder stocked with all sorts of Best Korean goodies. Multiple cans of Taedonggang beer. Several bottles of Pyongyang Soju, in various flavors ranging anywhere from 16.8 to 53 percent alcohol by volume. My fridge was skewed towards the right-hand side of the bell curve; the more heavy-duty boozy side. Evidently, my reputation had preceded me again. There was a selection of German-style wheat beers from the Taedonggang Brewery and the more familiar ales, steam beers, and lagers. There were some imported beers like Heineken, Bavaria, Pils, a couple of Japanese brands: Asahi and Kirin, and something called ‘Hello Beer’ from Singapore. There were also ‘sampler’ bottles of Apricot Pit wine, and a couple of high-alcohol fruity liquors made from constituents such as apple or pear, and mushrooms. There were also special medicinal liquors like ‘Rason’s Seal Penis Liquor’. That is going home with me unopened. There were a couple of bottles of local sake, called Chonju. Finally, there was a couple ‘samplers’ of homemade alcohol known as Makkoli. Plus there was something called ‘Corn Grotto’, which for the life of me, looks and tastes much like a very passable Kentucky Sippin’ Bourbon. I put our concierge on instant danger money the very next day. He’s yet to source me more than a fifth of the stuff so far. I found that there is a popular drink here which mirrors the Yorsch of Mother Russia. Beer and soju can be mixed to create *somaek’; a foamy, frothy, funky drink of many flavors, depending on the soju chosen. Is ethnoimbibology at thing? The science of how different cultures drink and the effects of drinking culture on different societies. If not, now I have another Ph.D. to pursue after I endow a chair at some likely Asian university. Anyways, in everyone’s room was a “welcome” basket, just chock full of Best Korean goodies. Postcards, stamps, ads for coin sets, stamp proofs and other goodies that could be purchased at the hotel. There was a field notebook, which I thought was a very nice addition, newspapers, cookies, crackers, biscuits, candies, fruit drinks, and some fresh fruit; although tamarind chewies and durian chips aren’t on my list of personal favorites. There were a couple of tour books, just chock full of staged photos. These were very nice as well, as so far, we haven’t had much time for shopping outside of government stores or smaller family-run shops in town or out in the boonies. A few of us were hungry and decided to see what the hotel had to offer room service-wise. Bupkiss. But, they did have a selection of restaurants. There is a Chinese restaurant, a European restaurant, and a Korean restaurant on site but they all serve the same food...a Best Korean attempt at western food. And it was weird being the only ones in the restaurant even though it was fully staffed. We grazed lightly and decided to do some late-night perambulations around our hotel. Our handlers admonished us to stay within the confines of the hotel, or see them if it was absolutely necessary to go walkabout. In the hotel, we were on our own. We found that there were tunnels in the hotel’s basement. The basement tunnels were a real bonus. There’s a bar with pool tables, a karaoke room, bowling, and a massage parlor, where I was beaten and pummeled into submission by tiny, diminutive, little Korean lassies fully 1/5th my size. It was wonderful. There was a hairdresser’s, who were completely befuddled by my shoulder-length silver-gray locks and full gray Grizzly Adams beard. They did provide a lovely shampoo/cranial massage though for the equivalent of US$2. There were a couple of shops selling Chinese goods rather than local stuff, which was sort of disappointing, a cold noodle bar, and another casino. No shops selling Korean Communist propaganda posters, as I wanted to augment my Soviet-era collection. Perhaps I’ll find something in-country later on. We were shocked to find that the casino had WiFi that was uncensored and we were able to access; after a fee of liquor miniatures and a cigar or two. We were supposed to have access to the global internet, not local intranet, from the universities that we would be visiting. However, all of that was under the heavily squinting eyes of handlers and guys in shiny suits wearing fake Ray-Bans. I still had my secret satellite internet lash-up available, but that was iffy, a pain in the ass to set up, and ridiculously expensive. However, it did work on the 39th floor and the times I used it instead of wandering down to the tunnels, no one appeared to be the wiser. Thus far. So typically, we’d just head to the basement casino with our laptops, iPads, and phones. Bam! Robert’s your Sister’s Husband, we could connect more-or-less free with the outside world; hence how you are reading this now. Herro! “Yes, I’d sure like another beer. This time a porter, if you please.” The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain. Or the more they put into locks, the easier they are to pick. Besides, we were told we’d have access to unfettered and free internet. OK, so we just found it for ourselves. Whaddya expect? We’re scientists, motherfucker, back off. Ahem. Back to reality. The breakfast buffet the next morning had a wide choice of Asian and Western food, although the choices seemed to be the same every day. The main event was to beat the Chinese tourists to the egg station every morning. Breakfast always included fried eggs, a limited selection of pork, kippered fish, potatoes, rice, fruit, and a very Titanium-dioxide-white white bread After a while, I took to going to the small market behind the lobby, buying some imported Chinese or Japanese nibbly bits and heading to the tunnels for a few breakfast beers before the long hard day’s work. It took almost a week, but I gained the trust of some of the workers in the tunnels and they showed me the on-site microbrewery at the hotel. It produced very passable, and very, very cheap beers of several varieties. Liquid bread. Beer. Is there nothing it can’t do? After breakfast our first day at the hotel, we were told to meet in the Conference Room “Il-sung” as we were going to have a ‘Welcome foreign imperialist scientists’ introduction and indoctrination. Besides our handlers and the shiny-suit squad, there were several Korean folks we didn’t recognize. These were students, scientists, and scholars from the Kim Chaek University of Technology, Kim Il-sung University, the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology; all hailing from Pyongyang, and the University of Geology from North Hwanghae Province. “Oh, marvelous”, Erlen remarked, “It’s going to be a bloody Chautauqua. We’ll be here all day.” “Well”, I replied, “It could be worse. We could be on a bus headed off on another unscheduled road trip.” As we found our seats, our Korean counterparts were busily setting up portable screens, like the ones your grandfather had for showing his 2.1 Googleplex worth of travel slides every Christmas or Thanksgiving get-together. They had a couple of ancient Chinese brand laptops that could have doubled for body armor, they were so thick and heavy. While they fiddled with running cords for the overhead projectors and 16mm film projector; yes, it was going to be movie time as well, the hotel’s restaurant folks wheeled in carts laden with scones, cupcakes, and other sweet sorts of bakery. Another cart was wheeled in with pump-pots of hot water, tea, and coffee. Usual scientific meeting fare. There was one final cart that made the day bearable. It held a pony keg of hotel micro-brewed beer on ice, with several dozen frosty mugs available for all who wanted to partake. There were instantly 12 mugs that were spoken for. I grabbed a cold beer and wandered around the conference room, sipping beer, chewing on an unlit cigar, and just trying to be pleasant to our hosts and their scientific guests. I was surprised when one North Korean professor, who spoke amazingly British-tinged English, offered me a light for my cigar. “Is smoking allowed here?” I asked. “Allowed?” he laughed heartily, “My good man, it’s practically a prerequisite.” “Here then”, I said, offering him a nice, unctuous Camacho, “Try one of mine.” Dr. P'ung Kwang-Seon of the North Korean University of Geology became my instant and lifelong friend at that moment. We had a very nice chat, much to the chagrin of the gray suit cadre, who could hear what we were talking about, but probably didn’t understand anything beyond every 8th word. After a while, we were asked to take our seats, after refreshing our drinks, and introduced to the group of Korean geoscientists we’d be interacting with during our stay here in Best Korea. I tried to record every name, but between the students, other scholars, and professors from the various universities, I decided I’d ask for a list of participants once the day had worn on. After all, they had all our names, references, and resumes if the thick folio they kept referring to was any indication. There were a couple of hours of introductions, as every one of the Korean geoscientists there introduced themselves, mostly through translators, told of their personal area of specialty, and their latest work. Most were what would be considered geoscientists, but oddly enough, not one that you would consider a petroleum geoscientist, however tangentially. There were geomorphologists, structural geologists, petrologists, mineralogists, marine geologists, engineering geologists, and seismologists. However, there were no stratigraphers, sedimentologists, paleontologists, or geochemists. We were all geoscientists, but apart from the obvious Korean:English disparity, it was as if we spoke different scientific languages as well. That would be our first hurdle to overcome. They had no oil industry here; none whatsoever, therefore why one would bother with the geosciences that fed directly into petroleum? That, in and of itself, would make it difficult to explore for oil in the country. Couple that with the fact that they’re so insular, think their version of ‘science’ is the best, at least that’s the official line, and think all other’s ‘science’ is capitalistic, substandard, and inferior doesn’t bode well for your country discovering anything either oily or gassy. We were having another conclave around the beer keg, ack, err…a ‘coffee break’ and I mentioned this fact to my scientific colleagues. “Guys”, I need input here, “We’re going to get precisely nowhere if they won’t even acknowledge that they have major problems from the start.” Ivan replies, “Very true. I’ve seen this before back home. You get a group so entrenched in their own little corner of science, they can’t even accept or acknowledge that others exist. Not only exist but actually know more about a certain problem than do you.” Dax joins the fray, “Sure, that’s very true, but who’s going to tell them this unfortunate fact? They could take that as a personal, national, and global insult. Imagine you’re at an international conference and a bunch of foreigners walk in just to tell you you’ve been doing it all wrong for the last 75 years.” I add, “Remember, though. These characters are scientists as well. I think it’ll be a good measure of seeing what sort of science and scientist we’re dealing with here. If they are truly researchers, they’ll listen to and evaluate what we say as for veracity and accuracy. If they’re just a bunch of Commie goons; no offense, Comrade Academician Ivan, they’ll get all pissed off, kick us out, and we get to go home and enjoy our triple Force Majeure pay.” Ivan walks over and deliberately steps on the toes of my newly polished field boots. “In Soviet Russia, field boots walk on YOU.” He laughs in his heavily inflected, and scary, Soviet-era speech… “Yes, I agree”, Joon adds, “But who is going to address this issue with our hosts? Perhaps one of our Russian comrades, as they are, or were, more politically aligned with our Korean friends and perhaps best understand the issue?” Ack speaks up, grinning maniacally, “No, I disagree. We should have the one person here who so encapsulates the ideologies and political leanings that they love to hate here so much. You know; the quiet, diminutive, and soft-spoken North American…” Dax recoils, “Oh, no! I’m not going out in front of this mob of ornery Orientals…” I smile wanly and tell Dax to cool out. “Relax, Dax. They’re talking about me.” “Oh, yes”, a collective group of voices replies, “Yes. Let out fearless Team Leader break the bad news to our Eastern Colleagues. That way we can gauge their reactions to being bounced around scientifically by a member of the Evil Capitalist Cartel.” “OK”, I reply, “I’ll do it. But be forewarned, my fine feathered fiends. I get stuck on a topic that’s not precisely my bailiwick, I’m going to throw your ass to the wolves. Remember, we’re all in this together.” Whoops, and catcalls were reduced to mumbles and ‘Aw, fucks.’. Chautauqua resumption was called and I asked for the floor. It was a bit off the agenda, but since they’ve been chewing the air for the last several hours, they understood it would be appropriate for us to at least try and get a word in edgewise. I downed my beer, and grabbed a fresh one as what I was going to say was going to be harsh, cut-and-dried, and rather pointed. But delivered in a pleasant manner. I hoped. This all had to be filtered through a series of translators, one for general conversational Korean and another for the more technical and scientific transliterations. I realized I was going to be up here for a while. So, I brought a cigar. One way or another, I was going to deliver our pronouncements and hell, I may as well be comfortable while doing it. . “Greetings and felicitations, my Eastern Colleagues. Let me first say how nice it is to be here in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea as part of the ….” I’m going to fast-forward through all the flowery bullshit and introductory happiness; I’ll going to just cut to the guts of the matter. “…Now, you do know why there has been virtually no oil, gas nor any other hydrocarbon related deposit discovered here in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea?” I asked by way of a rhetorical question. I sipped my beer and lit my cigar. In for a chon, in for a won. I let the buzzing subside on the side of our eastern counterparts. “Because, and please do not take this as insulting or derogatory, but as a statement of irrefutable fact, no one with the proper training nor experience has been looking. You’re historically guilty of applying the science incorrectly and letting dogma and politics guide your search, instead of the scientific method and the facts. Geology, like all natural science, is just as truth based on the facts for a capitalist as it is for a communist. Reality is not influenced by your beliefs, be they scientific or political, secular or spiritual, ‘trusted’ rather than ‘thought’; any more than by your wish that it wouldn’t rain today during a raging thunderstorm.” Little Boy over Hiroshima was dropped with less effect. Our Democratic People's Republic of Korea colleagues erupted into a chaotic mixture of stuttering, internecine yelling, accusations, and sputtering. Calling for decorum, I figured that since I was this far gone, I may as well push the plunger all the way to the bottom. “Gentlemen, I do not denigrate the science of geology as taught and practiced here in Best Korea.” I actually said that, sort of a slip of the tongue. Continuing, “However, one would not fish for Bluefin tuna from a rowboat in a pond with a fly rod. One does not hunt bear in the city with a slingshot. Just as one doesn’t search for oil and gas with mining engineers, geomorphologists, and seismologists.” I let that sink in and after the translation, they calmed a bit and wanted to hear the rest of what I had to say. I could sense a couple was less than thrilled with what I had to say, but forging onward… “One fishes for Bluefin tuna in the deep ocean with huge rods, reels and a specialist boat captained by someone with deep experience in hunting the elusive fish. One hunts bear in the proper environment, the taiga or forest, with the proper tools and guided by one with the education, learnedness, and experience to know how to make the hunt come out successful.” Hit them with some analogies they can relate to and digest. Now, go for the carotid. “Just like one does not hunt oil and gas without stratigraphers, sedimentologists, geophysicists, petrophysicists, and other oil and gas experts who have the education, experience, and knowledge to know where to look. Knowing which environment looks most conductive to hide your quarry, if you’ll pardon the pun, and how best to find them, the guys who know how to corral and de-risk them once you find them, and the engineers and technologists who know how to bring them to the surface so they can be utilized.” They had stopped being irritated and were listening in rapt attention. “My colleagues and I have spent the last few days going over, in detail the geology of your country. There is nothing we can see that would preclude the development, entrapment, and preservation of economic quantities of oil and gas. Ture, the geology is quite complex as is the structural history of the entire peninsula. That’s one other thing you will have to accept. Geology doesn’t give the tiniest shit about political boundaries. One must look at the big picture, and that doesn’t stop at some man-made borders. Ignore that fact at your peril, because if you continue to view the geology here as not existing across political boundaries, you are preadapting yourself for failure.” Drs. Ivan, Volna, and Morse make certain that everyone sees the ex-Soviets agreeing with the bushy-bearded, cigar-chomping American capitalist. “So,” I said, hoping to bring this little spit-balling session to a fortuitous close, “If we can have an agreement; scientific agreement, on these points, then I am certain we can find a way forward with not only this discussion but the program we can devise for the best Korean (notice phase shift?) geologists to take the project forward both scientifically soundly and economically successful.” My North Korean counterpart gets up from his seat in the conference room, goes to the keg, taps a couple of beers and walks up to the podium where I was standing. “Thank you, Dr. Rocknocker, for saying what needed to be said”, he spoke in perfect English as he handed me a beer. I grinned and gratefully accepted the beer. “Why, Dr. Chang Kwang-Su”, I said, as that was his name, “You old fraud. You do speak English; and very well, I must add.” “Yes, almost all of us do”, he relayed, “But, as you said, we are most reserved. We were more or less under orders of the ‘most illustrious’, to play coy, and act as if we spoke no English.” “I see.” I said, “I’ve worked in several FSU countries as well as Russia and saw that there as well. I guess old habits die hard.” “That they do, Doctor.”, he replied, “But, we must now tell you the truth. We knew exactly what you said is true, and we agree. We are not as totally insulated from the outside world as some suspect.” “Well, I was going on what your superiors related to us. Like the police that had all their toilets stolen, I had nothing else to go on.” I replied. “Ah, ha! Quite!”, he chuckled, “We had long suspected that we were lacking in certain areas of scholarship. What you said cements that fact as it was an independent conclusion. We can now present that to our superiors with the caveat that unless we bolster work and training in these areas, the hunt of hydrocarbon resources here will be for naught.” “I am relieved”, I said, truthfully. “I was slightly concerned that some might take umbrage to being told their science is not up to specifications. I tried to be the bearer of that bad news but deliver it gently. Here, I find you need that to use that as a truncheon to smack one’s boss upside the head and tell him that an upgrade is required. And fast.” “Ah, so”, he replies, “We are in total agreement. Now that is out of the way, we would appreciate it if you’d help in designing a course of study for up and coming local geoscientists. Then, we can go forward with a great plan to search for oil and gas here in…Korea. Correct?” “Absolutely”, I remarked, “You’ve got over 400 man-years of science and exploration expertise here in this room alone. Let’s shoot for the moon, so to speak. Let’s get you up to speed on scientific journals and articles that are available out there in all of academia and industry. Let’s get you communicating on a global basis. Let’s prove that you can talk science with global scientists and still not have it affect your political or nationalistic aspirations one little bit. Let’s see if we can drag you, figuratively speaking, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century.” “Doctor”, Dr. Chang remarked, “You are the embodiment of what we were always told what Americans are. Brash, loud, confident, and evil. Except for evil, you are American as we were led to believe.” “Hey, I take that as a compliment”, I exclaim. “You think that’s bad, I’ve got a bunch of earnest Europeans, raucous Russians, and a couple of cagey Canadians on my side as well. Before we’re finished here, we’ll have you ordering hachee, dining on Caldo Verde, snacking on salmiakki, drinking Russkaya vodka with Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, eating poutine, and rooting for the Packers.” “Doctor, I don’t know what half of that means, but I hope it comes to pass. It sounds most fascinating.” Dr. Chang chuckles. The rest of the day was spent with various groups crystallizing and breaking off from the main crowd; then reforming as different groups. This was good, as it showed an interest across not only national borders but across ideologies and scientific specialties. Most everyone here spoke English with some degree of fluency, so the translators were called in only occasionally. I made certain they were included in everything that transpired that day. I want everyone to feel ‘part of the team’. How better to show the classlessness of Western science to include everyone in on both sides of every discussion and activity? To be continued…
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plz Subscribe my Channel. Wonder how do we look like on their side? :)more stuff on http://www.reallyfunnystuff.org MGM Resorts released surveillance video of Stephen Paddock, who stayed at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino leading up to the shooting where he killed 58 pe... Documentary set in las vegas with cheats and scams caught on camera and how the casinos find cheats The man in the red hat is Cody Castagna, the woman in the light-colored shirt is escort business operator Cheryl Mae Larson, and the woman carrying the dark ... By the staff at Visual Truths Surveillance and Security Systemshttp://www.visualtruths.netPlayer was observed switching cards to improve his hand. This video shows the new 360 DEGREE CAMERAS installed in MGM Resort & Casino's as of early 2017. These sophisticated cameras can follow your entire movements...