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Creepy Talk : The Repository for Inappropriate and Bizarre Messages
2013.07.13 03:38 KrisCraigCreepy Talk : The Repository for Inappropriate and Bizarre Messages
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2020.10.23 10:33 Logiman43How PIS destroyed Poland.
EDIT: This post is in an article format with pictures and graphs here I can't be silent anymore. In 2018, out of 1076 abortions in Poland, 1 was because of rape, 25 because it was dangerous for the woman's life and 1050 because of an unhealthy fetus. It means that PIS just totally banned abortion in Poland Too few Europeans are aware of the depth of this crisis. The current Polish government is destroying the country from inside-out with its nepotism, religious zeal, communistic tactics, social programs and funding verge organizations (or trolls). It breaks every single law, making unconstitutional laws since 2015 and destroying the court of law. How Poland is pushing EU into crisis - rise of populism. The video is 2 years old and now it's worst PIS staffed every single judicial court with its own people (ending the impartiality of judges). The very aggressive social 500+ program increased the job inactivity of Poles to 48% (48% of 15+ Polish citizens are NEET. Unemployment is at 5-6%). The Job vacancies in Poland are at the lowest level in EU. The corruption and nepotism is rampant, more than 1000 family members and friends are in public companies or in different Ministries. Polish PIS high ranking politicians are also making money together with pimps and mafia (see scandals down there). They are also giving millions of euros from public money to the Catholic Church. They are paying trolls to spew hate on Facebook, via Whatsapp and on the web. Some of them are hiding and not prosecuting pedophiles in the Catholic Church. Poland has almost the lowest innovation in EU. In 15 indexes tracking freedom and democracy in Europe Poland went from an average position of 12 out of 28 in 2010 to 23 out of 28 in 2019. I mean, not to diminish Trump’s “awesomeness” but imagine if the WHOLE republican party in the US was Trump-like. Shady deals, family in the govt, creating discord, staffing courts with their own judges. I’m just mortified. For further reading I recommend: Sadurski, Wojciech. "Poland's Constitutional Breakdown", Oxford University Press, 2019. Acronyms and main characters:
PIS- current govt, Law and Justice, a fringe party with populist programs. Majority in Parliament. President is also from PIS. Opposition has the Senate.
J. Kaczynski, PIS leader, Twin brother of the dead Polish president
Z. Ziobro, General Prosecutor and Minister of Justice. PIS
A. Duda, President. PIS
M. Banas, Head of the Supreme Audit office. PIS
M. Morawiecki, Prime minister. PIS
T. Rydzyk Catholic priest, founder of the conservative Radio Maryja station and tv TRWAM
J. Kurski, chairman of the Polish national state broadcaster TVP. PIS
M. Kuchcinski, ex-Marshal of the lower house. PIS
B. Szydlo, ex-prime minister. PIS
PiS changes electoral rules in an unconstitutional move. Presidential "elections" 2020 are the Biggest legal blunder of the year
Pis doesn't want to declare a constitutional state of emergence or state of natural disaster because it would postpone the elections. So they declared a state of epidemic that doesn't allow to limit the freedom of movement or other liberties Ombudsman opinion
At first, PiS decided to hold the presidential elections on 10 May despite the public outcry at holding elections at the height of a pandemic. The adoption of generalised voting by post by the Polish parliament, about one month before the planned elections, violates several constitutional standards. It breaches a prohibition on making changes to the electoral law less than six months before an election and a ban on hiding new laws under the guise of amendments to an existing draft.
So in a particularly Kafkaesque twist, the ministry appointed J. Sasin, one of the MP, to organize the elections and he printed 30M ballots before the special election legislation was even signed into law. For months there was a ballot hunt to know where the ballots are stored. 70 million zloty bill for Poland’s abandoned presidential election
At 02:26 am on 23 April, every Polish mayor and city council president received an anonymous, unsigned e-mail from Polish Post saying that they were required to deliver the private data of 30 million Polish citizens including their PESEL (national identification number), date of birth, address, and other private data in a .txt file format lacking any passwords or security. But local governments, which hold that data, are refusing to hand it over, arguing that the postal service has no legal right to get the files.
On 29 April 2020, 11 days before the planned election date, election candidate Żółtek presented a copy of an "unlawful" electoral ballot at a press conference. It had NO securities to prevent counterfeit copies (reminder: As of 2 May 2020, Polish law did not authorise Poczta Polska to organise postal voting nor printing of ballots) . Poczta Polska notified the Internal Security Agency about the leak. But how to prove something that shouldn't exist? So many trolls just printed the copy and put it in mailboxes and on the street Picture of police trying to see if this is a copy or not of an illegal ballot
4 days before the election, “Simply put, in a democratic country, the government decided — consciously — not to organise the election of the head of state.” Collapse of Polish democracy “What happened with this agreement is truly unprecedented: the presidential election in Poland was not postponed, it was just cancelled,”. As the leaders reached their agreement, no constitutional institution was involved in the process, including the electoral commission, the president, the Sejm and the Supreme Court – the latter was meant to cancel the election according to the letter of the document. However, the two politicians could be certain that their agreement, although un-constitutional, would prove effective because of the complete take-over of the Supreme Court by the Law and Justice nominees since the beginning of May following the expiry of the term of the former President of the Supreme Court Małgorzata Gersdorf. Still, it is highly unusual for the leaders of political parties to openly state what the Supreme Court would decide. Source
3 days before the election, the National Electoral Commission (PKW) - controlled by PIS since a month- declared that the election would not be able to take place on 10 May 2020 because there were no candidates???!!! Source So the candidates will need to ONCE again collect 100k signatures to be eligible to be candidates.
On 3 June 2020, the Marshal of the Sejm ordered the first round of the election to be held on 28 June 2020.
And now the cherry on top. Elections on 28 june 2020 are UNCONSTITUTIONAL why? art 128.2 of the constitution: "The election of the President of the Republic shall be ordered by the Marshal of the Sejm to be held on a day no sooner than 100 days and no later than 75 days before expiry of the term of office of the serving President of the Republic, and in the event of the office of President of the Republic falling vacant - no later than the 14th day thereafter(...)". June 28 was 70 days before the expiry. So the next election must be announced within 14 days after the office of president is vacated. So the Speaker of the Sejm can announce new elections AT THE EARLIEST after 6th of August. source
Some of the passages below are taken from this pdf No member state in the history of the EU has ever gone as far in subjugating its courts to executive control as the current Polish government. The Polish case has become a test whether it is possible to create a Soviet-style justice system in an EU member state; a system where the control of courts, prosecutors and judges lies with the executive and a single party. Across Europe, national courts recognise the judgements of courts in other member states, whether these involve commercial law, the European arrest warrant or child custody. Judges must assume that courts across the EU operate according to common values and principles set out in the European Union Treaty and in its Charter of Fundamental Rights. Once judges across the EU have reason to doubt whether courts in any member state provide effective judicial protection, the legal order on which the EU rests collapses. Freedom house - How PIS captured Poland’s Courts
Constitutional Tribunal changes
It all began with the constitutional crisis four years ago. Constitutional crisis and the destruction of the rule of law In 2015, parliament changed the law on the Constitutional Tribunal, which rules on the constitutionality of legislation. The changes allowed them to annul the nominations of three judges made by the previous parliament and appoint their own. It shortened the terms of the tribunal's president and vice-president from nine to three years. The tribunal ruled the move unconstitutional in an open rebellion, but the dispute remains unresolved. Julia Przylebska - was illegally named the president of the Tribunal court by the president. And now Kaczynski, the PM have meetings at her house. Nice separation of power There's too much to describe. For further info please visit the link. It is an amazing summary of the whole ordeal. timeline
Supreme Court changes
The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, said one of the most controversial reforms was to do with the Supreme court, which, among other duties, is responsible for confirming election results. The idea was to lower the age of retirement for Supreme Court justices from 70 to 65, but allow the Polish president to grant a five-year extension to whomever they deemed worthy. In 2019, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) — the EU's highest court —ruled this was illegal, after an interim decision ordered 20 already-sacked judges be reinstated. Of course, PIS chose 2 new Constitutional judges, A politician Pawlowicz with communistic past and Piotrowicz, also a politician and a prosecutor that was an active communist during the 80 that prosecuted Solidarnosc. Both of them are above 65 years old.
Ordinary court judges
There were also moves to try a similar tactic in the general court system for judges and public prosecutors, lowering the age of retirement for women to 60 and for men to 65, down from the current 67. Under the reforms the justice minister, who is appointed by the ruling party, would have the power to extend a judge's term. The laws were somewhat adjusted after pressure from the European Commission, but in November 2019 the ECJ shot down these laws, too, citing gender discrimination and political influence over the judiciary.
Disciplinary measures for judges
Another PiS addition allowed judges to be investigated and sanctioned for their court rulings. The disciplinary hearings and procedures were to be carried out by judges selected via parliament. These reforms were criticized by the European Commission because "judges are not insulated from political control and thus judicial independence is violated." The commission brought legal action against Poland on this matter in October 2019.
National Council of the judiciary takeover
In 2017 PiS remodeled the National Council of the Judiciary, which selects candidates for appointment as judges by the President of the Republic. This allowed it, in the short term, to control appointments to the Supreme Court – including to a newly created Disciplinary Chamber, which hears disciplinary cases against judges, and to a new Extraordinary Appeals Chamber, which adjudicates on electoral issues. Over time PiS’ take-over of the National Judicial Council allows it to reshape the entirety of the judiciary. Fifteen of the 25 members of the National Council of the Judiciary were previously elected by judges themselves, as is common practice across Europe for such bodies. These fifteen judges are now elected by the majority in the Sejm, the lower chamber of the Polish parliament. The other ten members of the National Council of the Judiciary are: four members from the Sejm itself (all four members of PiS), two members from the Senate, one representative of the President of the Republic, the Minister of Justice, the president of the Supreme Court and the president of the Supreme Administrative Court. In total 23 of the 25 positions are directly appointed by political authorities. After the election of the new KRS, a publication of the list with the names of judges declaring their support for specific candidates was refused. The Supreme Administrative Court ruled that those names must be disclosed. However, the Chancellery of the Sejm has yet to carry out the NSA’s ruling. The Constitutional Tribunal (TK) and the President of the Personal Data Protection Office have been roped into guarding the secret. KRS destruction
The muzzle bill passed Dec 2019, victimize judges questioning the legitimacy of the government’s legal appointments, saying it is unlawful to “show hostility to other authorities of the Republic of Poland and its constitutional organs or to critisize the basic principles of the Republic of Poland.”The bill also delegalise the preliminary questions to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU). The bill also allows to fire judges ( which is unconstitutional according to the Constitution). In average Ziobro dismissed a judge every day and a half from its position of president of court source
One of the worse Covid19 laws in EU.
Trampling Fundamental freedoms using a single ordnance and Critiquing the President will land you a year in jail. report. In the latest special Covid19 law (already 4th lol) PIS smuggled an article straight from a communistic playbook about prosecuting people that critique the president. The sentence can be up to a year. They also smuggled a harsher law for abortions. Can someone tell me HOW it is related to Covid19? source More Ruleoflaw
Illegal presidential pardon
Illegal presidential pardon for CBA chief Kaminski In 2013, Law and Justice (PiS) MP Mariusz Kamiński – who served as head of the anti-corruption agency from 2006 and 2009 – was found guilty of overstepping his powers. He was sentenced to three years in prison and was banned from holding public office for ten years. Polish President Andrzej Duda pardoned Kamiński even though he was still appealing his sentence at the time. The case against Kamiński was then discontinued. A supreme court judge said that the president interfered in the legal process because Kamiński was proven neither innocent nor guilty when he was pardoned, making a future ruling redundant. The judge said that the president can pardon someone after any final appeal has been heard “because then he is not interfering with the judiciary”.
Merging the General Prosecutor with the political Minister of Justice
The ministry of Justice is funding trolls to destroy judges
Ziobro-Piebiak paid Troll scandal The Onet news portal published a report alleging that Deputy Justice Minister Łukasz Piebiak “arranged and controlled” an online campaign against Judge Krystian Markiewicz, the head of Iustitia, a judicial organization critical of the government’s efforts to restructure the judicial system, as well as against other inconvenient judges. According to the Onet report, Piebiak operated and financed an online campaign by a woman called Emilia who allegedly sent over 2,000 letters and emails about Markiewicz to other judges as well as to pro-government right-wing media. The messages contained fabricated, semi-confirmed and gossipy details of the judge’s personal life. According to Onet, Emilia obtained Markiewicz’s personal address from Piebiak so she could send him one of the letters.
PIS won the elections by wanting to fight nepotism. The most famous was “24yo Misiewicz, a former pharmacy assistant without a university degree was in the defense industry under Macierewicz. The apparent favoritism has raised ethics concerns in a party that won office promising to fight corruption.” source There is even a webpage listing more than 1000 cases of nepotism under PIS Pisiewicze Latest data show 162M PLN to 84 PIS oligarchs and Colleagues
Illegal budget for 2017
The 2017 budget "was adopted" not in the Sejm assembly hall, but in a smaller room where the so-called parliamentary session was held immediately as a follow-up to the meeting of the parliamentary causus of PIS, where no reliable counting of vates was possible, and with many allegations taht the opposition MPs were not allowed in. [Constitutional Democracy in Crisis?, Oxfoord, 2018, p.268]
Ex-communists in PIS ranks. And PIS is very anti-left and anti-PRL.
They are accusing the opposition – PO - to consist mostly of ex-communists or communistic party members or collaborators. The issue is that most members of PO fought against the communism and spent months/years in prison in the ’80. On the other hand, the PIS party members scarcely fought for polish liberty and some of its party members are former communistic party members or communistic prosecutors like Piotrowicz! Some Polish TC judge are also ex-PRL members. Here is a list in polish of all current PIS party members who served as PRL members during the communistic era. So, PIS is fighting against itself. Another list with 20 names of ex-party members now in PIS
The so-called assassination of Kaczynski's twin president brother in Smolensk created 90M PLN of costs. PIS created a "cult" around his death and even created a special commission that would prove it was an assassination. Kaczynski was using it on every occasion Don't wipe your treacherous mugs with .... Ofc they didn’t prove anything and they buried the topic. Every 10th of every month for 3 years, PIS party leader Kaczynski was making a "show" commemorating his dead twin brother. He was using the police to secure his demonstration even if he has no lawful power (he is neither a president, neither the prime minister). New law expanding police surveillance and the police is getting raises after raises to keep them happy. The commemorations, the commission and the damages (paid only to the politicians’ families, not to the crew) amounted to 91M PLN.
The welfare revolution
PIS is also very pro-family. The party is giving away 500zl per month for every kid. In short, it has “bought” the elections. The polish economy is unable to sustain such an endeavor roots of populism. And it costs the economy 80B PLN between 2016 and 2019. The best part? Rate of births is negative for the last couple of years and inflation is still growing. According to the PIS Stats bureau it is 3.5% and growing. However, many journalists made their own baskets of normal good and services and the inflation is closer to 10%. Additionally there is a growing debt that PIS tries to hide by shifting some debt into other Funds. One of them is the “Solidarity fund” that is not counted in the overall polish GDP, that is to support people with disabilities will pay for the 13th and 14th pension of people 65+.
Funding propaganda and trolls
Computational Propaganda in Poland: Russian troll factories PIS bought the Pegasus spyware to spy on its citizens In September 2018, private broadcaster TVN24 reported that Poland’s state audit body, NIK, was questioning an outlay of over 33 million zloty (€7.6 million euro) by the Justice Fund, a government fund to help victims of crime. According to TVN, the money went toward the purchase of a “new system to spy on telephones and computers, the most expensive system in the history of Polish secret services.” Reports that the covertly purchased system could be Pegasus — a top-performing spyware that is impossible to track — surfaced last week. Polish troll farms promoting Duda and Kaczynski
PIS has hundreds of scandals that each would destroy a modern government. They defrauded billions of PLN over the years, put 1000’s of family members in different state-owned companies. Below are listed the main sexual and financial scandals.
Sex hotel of the head of the Audit office Marian Banaś , a Law and Justice (PiS) politician and recently appointed chief of Poland’s Supreme Audit Office has been heavily embroiled in a corruption scandal, another to hit the ruling party just weeks before the country votes in a parliamentary election. Mr Banaś served as finance minister from June to August this year, and is a key figure in the party. Mr Banaś concealed his possession of a tenement house in Krakow from his financial disclosures. This property was then revealed to have deep running connections with a local, criminally-run escort agency. He claimed that the house was given to him by an old friend whom he met in the Home Army, which he then renovated. In his disclosures he claimed he would sell the house, which never happened. Banaś claims that this was due to the buyer’s inability to get a loan. Investigations have further revealed that Mr Banaś agreed to rent the property for 5000 zloty a month, 10,000 zloty lower than its estimated market value, according to Gazeta Wyborcza. Just as the scandal could not apparently get any worse for Mr Banaś, further investigation by journalist Bertold Kittel revealed criminal links. When Mr Kittel entered the property he found at the reception an infamous Krakow criminal known as one of the brothers K – Wiesław or Janusz, who control escort agencies in the region. While still under investigation, there have been suggestions of contact between the two.
"Alleged" Pedophila and Sex trafficking scandal of House speaker Wirtualna Polska learned the contents of the message of CBA officer Wojciech J. to the prosecutor's office about the failure of the head of the CBA, Ernest Bejda. In the background is a lost record with a recording of one of the leading PiS politicians who should have sex with a minor Ukrainian girl lost. His name falls on the document. In the message, Wojciech J. refers to several reports that he was the head of the office in connection with the "unauthorized access to his armored cabinet during his absence" submitted. From this vault, a record should be lost in escort agencies from the Podkarpacie region. One of the leading PiS politicians should have sex with a young Ukrainian in the recording. The statement signed by lawyer Beata Bosak-Kruczek mentions the name of Sejm spokesman Marek Kuchciński.
Health minister Szumowski alleged to have bought £1m of PPE from ski instructor friend during pandemic. And givng away £65m grants to companies run by brother public anger has exploded after Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza reported that Szumowski bought masks with fake certificates from a skiing instructor who is friends with his businessman brother, Marcin. Poland’s Health Ministry reportedly spent five million zloty (£1m) on 120,000 FFP-2 type face masks and 20,000 surgical masks that were later found not to meet safety standards, Politico says. The company that sold the masks was registered on the 30 of March and won the govt. contract on the same day. Critics have also questioned Szumowski’s previous dealings in government. Polish news network tvn24 reports that while serving as deputy science minister in 2016-17, he gave 300 million zloty (£60m) in grants from Poland’s National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR) to OncoArendi Therapeutics, a research company run by his brother. Another company in which Szumowski was a shareholder, Life Science Innovation (LSI), was reportedly given a 24 million zloty (£5m) NCBR grant just days after he took up the ministerial post.
2020.10.21 03:56 Air-Connect[Discussion] What if there had been no warning? Did anybody somehow miss all the warnings and play this truly blind?
I just think, what if people had gotten no heads up that this was anything other than your typical visual novel/dating sim and went in truly blind? What kind of impact would the game have then? What effect would horror have when you have absolutely no heads up you're in for anything other than a simple light cheery experience? I mean the game is enough of a mind fuck Did anybody here manage to play this game completely missing all the warnings, with no hints from friends, no clues from reviews or anything that this was anything other than a happy cheery visual novel about a literature club? I wonder if the warning built into the game's story would have been enough preparation (not the content warning at the beginning, I'm talking about the way the story naturally sort of warns you) for this hypothetical person. The game does prime you a little by first having the tone shift with Sayori's depression revelation then giving you a WTF with Sayori's "Get Out of My Head" Poem to put you at least somewhat on alert. Maybe that would have been enough for the person playing completely blind not to be traumatized by what happens next. And I AM most concerned with that moment. As Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation points out, the game has its maximum impact at that point, everything that comes after is relatively tame. Sure its creepy and unsettling but it doesn't knock you out of your seat and leave you dumbfounded like that first moment does (or like I've seen it do for other people. I never got to experience it properly, Honest Trailers spoiled it for me). If anybody played this 100 percent blind, expecting nothing but your typical visual novel, completely ignorant of all warnings and tipoffs about the game, I'd like to hear from you about it. Otherwise, I welcome speculation about what you think the effect would be. EDIT: I guess the closest I've seen are Dan Avidan during the Game Grump's playthrough and ProJared during his playthrough. Dan must have missed the warning because when Ross told him the game had a twist, he thought it was a sexy twist. Maybe Arin already had the game loaded up when Dan came in and thus the warning had already played. And since they played straight through to Sayori's big moment there was no opportunity to see that warning again. ProJared saw the warning but he got really invested in the playthrough and it was clear from the way he was talking about the game that he hadn't seen anything about it prior to playing it and had no idea what was going to happen. He also missed the obvious clues telegraphing the big moment.
2020.10.20 23:06 BigPairOfFireSwordsI fucking hate our options for candidates in the US .
Like really , they both are horrible. In one corner , we have Biden a man who can't remember almost anything without a telegraph , and has multiple videos of him saying how kids would like to touch him , and another 300 videos of him sniffing and touching kids inappropriately. He's also anti - 2a , now this is personal opinion but out in the country , your chance of getting shot by someone if you're innocent is 0 unless you live by white - trash fuckers who are jacked up on meth all the time , I've lived near them , they're real , they talk about killing people who make them slightly mad all the time . But if you live near real country folk , they're always willing to help people out with hospitality and would only hurt you and shoot you if would try to harm them and burgle their house . In the city, with the amount of crime there , there's a 10% chance you could get killed walking at night in bigger cities . In the other part of the ring we have Trump, an idiot with no charisma and he has multiple sexual allegations towards him . He has various voice recordings and videos of him talking about how good his daughter, Ivanka , looks hinting toward incest and saying that if he wouldn't be her father he would try to date her . Trump also has footage of him partying with Jeffrey Epstein and being accused of rape by one of Epsteins young , underaged girls named Katie . Another thing that hints to how idiotic he his is that he doesn't believe in the Coronavirus or Covid 19 at all ! Both of these candidates fucking suck , it pisses me off that these are our only options . Neither of them know how to run a country. It sickens me , our country is going to get fucked up either way , there will never be a perfect president . Coming from a previous Trump supporter , fuck both of these excuses for people .
2020.10.19 23:47 _Revelator_Clarkson's Columns: Down with Cruise Ships & the Aston Martin Aston Martin DBX Review
Sir Attenborough and St. Mark's can breathe a sigh: loathsome cruise liners are sinking at last By Jeremy Clarkson (Sunday Times, Oct. 18) A public information ad that nobody much paid attention to when it first appeared last year started doing the rounds last week. It suggested that girls who can no longer be ballet dancers should think about retraining for a career in cyber-technology. This made a lot of young people very angry, and I'm not sure why. Covid-19 forced theatres to close. So it's pointless sitting at home, banging your fists on the floor, saying, "I want to be a ballet dancer". It'd be like mewling and puking with rage because you can't be a town crier or a switchboard operator. Or a cruise ship steward. We were treated last week to the most joyous and uplifting spectacle. An aerial photograph of five gigantic liners being broken up for scrap in a Turkish shipyard. I gazed at it for several minutes, feeling all warm and fuzzy at the thought of how these hideous eyesores would never again ruin anyone's view of St Mark's or the Sydney Opera House or a Norwegian fjord. With their rear ends removed, you could see into the rabbit warren of their interiors and imagine how much misery had been generated. The loneliness. The diarrhoea. Let me illustrate my hatred of these gigantic floating vomit buckets with some numbers. In a typical week, a liner with 3,000 people on board will produce more than 200,000 gallons of sewage and a million gallons of grey water, teeming with body fluids, eczema flakes and HRT-flecked sick. Legally, all of this can be pumped into the sea. Along with the contents of all the bins. It was reported in the Financial Times last year that the luxury cruise operator Carnival's fleet alone produces more emissions of sulphur oxides than all of Europe's 260 million cars. Sir Sir Attenborough--a man so respected that they knighted him twice--was banging on in his recent Netflix eco-rant that we must all give up meat, but what's the point of taking that one small and unpleasant step if Wilbur and Myrtle are still allowed to fill the seas with their turds and the sky with enough carbon to make half a dozen Boeing Dreamliners? What has always fascinated me about these ships, though, is not the damage they do to the sky and the fish: it's the fact that they're full of drunk, weird people and there's no police on board. Between 2011 and 2015, 116 people simply disappeared while on a cruise. That may explain why sea levels are rising: because of all the dead plastic women who've been thrown into it by jealous husbands. By law, there must be a person on board with some kind of medical certificate. But who's to say the certificate wasn't issued after the person had spent six months in a remote village, administering ground-up bones and potions as a pox doctor's clerk? And then there's the question of who's cooking the food. If you are a good chef, you will get a job at a top restaurant or hotel in a bright and vibrant city. If you are less good, you will end up in a burger van at the side of the A429 or at café in the provinces. So how bad to do you have to be to wind up making gravy on a cruise liner? I can't imagine, then, that life on board is much fun, but it's better than what happens when they let you off. The problem is that the brochures talk about all the exotic locations you'll visit, but the truth is you have to dock in a shipyard, and they're not exotic at all. I once watched a cruise liner disgorging its orange passengers onto Barbados. They'd doubtless read about how they'd meet Simon Cowell at the Cliff restaurant and dip their toes in a turquoise sea. But instead, they got off, climbed onto what looked like a train, but was in fact a converted Ford Transit van pulling some rickety wooden carriages, and were deposited on the other side of the docks, outside some not-at-all convincing chattel houses, where they bought Rasta hats, before it was time to get back on board and head to Trinidad. Sure, they could tell friends in the Harvester back home that they'd been to Barbados, and they had, in the same way that I could say I've been to Minneapolis because I once changed planes at the airport. Anyway, the photograph of all those liners being turned into kettles demonstrates that the cruise holiday, mercifully for all concerned, is coming to an end. Or is it? Because last week we were all treated to the unedifying spectacle of P&O's brand new ship, the Iona, which is bound for its home port of Southampton. Billed, hilariously, as an "excellence-class" liner, it can handle 5,200 passengers and even has its own gin distillery. It is like Prora, the Nazi-built resort, only uglier. It is said this giant will set off on its maiden voyage early next year, but I wouldn't bet on that. And even if it does lumber off to ruin the peace and tranquillity of a pristine spring morning, I wouldn't count on it being what you'd call "packed". Which makes me wonder. If it can't operate as a cruise ship and it can't be scrapped because P&O just spent more than £700m building it, what does the future hold for this 19-deck monster? Well, there was a plan recently to house migrants on ships while their paperwork is sorted out, but for reasons I can't understand, young people were cross about this too. So how's this for an idea. The government takes the Iona off P&O's hands, puts it in the middle of the North Sea, renames it the HMP Alcatraz and fills it with prisoners. Escape would be impossible. Overcrowding in the current prisons would ease. And all the robbers and rapists would get what the cry-baby lefties have been demanding for years: a choice of restaurants, four swimming pools and a spa. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- If there's a bump in the road, you'll find it The Clarkson Review: Aston Martin DBX By Jeremy Clarkson (Sunday Times, Oct. 18) The Aston Martin DBX is an all-new car that will compete in a sector of the market where the company has never been before. And to make that strategy even riskier, this SUV is being built in a brand new, untested factory and being launched into showrooms that have seen significantly fewer customers since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Other small motoring manufacturers around the world--Lamborghini, Bentley, Ferrari and so on--are owned by big car companies, so they have access to all the latest technology and are cushioned to a certain extent from any virus-related problems. Whereas Aston Martin's owners include a man who made his fortune by selling trousers. He and a consortium of other businessmen have invested £500m in Aston, which sounds a lot, but that's roughly what Renault would spend on a new heater knob. And the money arrived, as did the new boss--poached from Mercedes-AMG--when the DBX was pretty much finished. It was therefore designed on a shoestring by a company whose share price was wearing margarine trousers on a slide into oblivion. Plans to make the DBX all-electric were shelved early on, and the proposed fitting of a new V6 hybrid postponed, so it has ended up with a 4-litre Mercedes engine and lots of Mercedes kit that was bang up to date--about 10 years ago. After such a difficult birth, I was not expecting it to be any good, but if I say that here you will be very angry with me, because not liking an Aston Martin in this country is illegal. It's like saying you don't like the Queen. You just do. You were born that way. So. Here goes. The first thing that surprised me about the DBX is its size. It's like Richard Osman, who you see sitting behind his desk on Pointless in the evening. You assume that because he's a man, he must be man-sized, but he isn't. He's taller than a telegraph pole. I had the DBX for five days, and in all that time I assumed it was the same length as a Porsche Macan. But in reality it's almost 2in longer than a Range Rover. It's much lower, though, and perhaps that's what makes it so handsome. Well, that and the pillarless doors and the huge 22in wheels. And the optional bonnet blades. And, best of all, the colour. It was very definitely black. But when the sun came out, it was a dark green. It was wonderful. I was also taken by the seemingly endless ways of tailoring your new DBX. You can choose what colour badge you'd like and what sort of stitching you have on the seats. There's even a Pet Pack, which gives you a rear bumper protector and a partition. And a Snow Pack. You can also have a safe under the front passenger seat and a gun cabinet in the boot. So one thing is for sure: while the price of the DBX is £158,000, by the time you've spent a week or two on the configurator it's going to be way more than that. High prices have been a problem for Aston in recent years, because the interiors of its cars never really felt special enough. That certainly isn't the case with this SUV. It's very good, chiefly because the manufacturer has ditched a recent move towards the square steering wheel and reverted to something circular. Some may criticise the ageing Mercedes infotainment system but, actually, it's from a time before all these systems got far too clever for their own good. It works well. What doesn't work so well is the way you use buttons to select the gears. If my memory serves, we first saw these on a Ford Fiesta concept car back in the early 1990s, and I remember thinking at the time: "Wow. These don't work at all." They still don't--they're too far away. What also doesn't work very well is the way the leather has been stitched so the seams are visible. As one reviewer said, it looks like botched plastic surgery, and it does, but there's another problem too. One of these seams, on the centre console, digs into your arm as you drive along and is very annoying. But it's not as annoying as the bumpiness of the ride. When I read that the DBX was fitted with 48-volt active anti-roll bars, I assumed it would glide along like a hovercraft. But it doesn't. Partly because of the big wheels, I suspect, it crashes hard into potholes, which makes it a bloody nightmare in London, and on the motorway it literally wobbles. If you try to sing in this thing to pass the time, you will get a very clear understanding of what's meant by vibrato. I cannot understand how this has happened. Aston must know that the people who will buy this car are likely to be in their fifties and sixties, and that people in this age group are long past the time when sleeping on the floor is an acceptable end to the evening, no matter how good the party was. Sure, the DBX is a fast and rewarding car when you are in the upper echelons of the rev range and the differentials are busy whizzing power to whichever wheel is best able to handle it. But nobody who wants an SUV wants to drive like this. They'd gladly put up with a bit more lean and a bit more understeer if it meant they could relax on the way home from work, rather than getting an idea of what it might be like to drive on a road made from corrugated iron. Off road? I don't know, to be honest, and you never will either, because although it has all the right tech to deal with the rough stuff, it sits on fat, fast, low-profile tyres, so the instant you show it a field of wet grass you'll know you're going home on foot. This is all very worrying because I'm heading to the point when I have to tell a nation of Aston fans that the new car is not much good. However, I genuinely have a problem with most of the boutiquey SUVs that have come along in recent years. The Bentley Bentayga is a lot better-looking after its recent facelift, but it's still no beauty. The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is wilfully awful to behold. The Lamborghini Urus doesn't quite have the courage of its convictions. The Maserati Levante is pointless. The Jaguar F-Pace is good, but in a different, lower league, and the Alfa Romeo Stelvio serves as a constant reminder you should have bought the Giulia Quadrifoglio instead. So, when you look at the competition, the DBX starts to make sense. And it continues to make sense right up to the moment you remember the car that started this particular ball rolling 50 years ago: the Range Rover. The first is still by far the best. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And here's the Sun column: "Without insects we could all be dead in 50 years – we need to save them"
2020.10.19 19:11 Dr_ChimRichaldsSongs from St. Somewhere survivor, RESULTS
And the winner is... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
With 67.80% of 59 votes, "Colour of the Sun" is our last song out, meaning that the crown for this survivor belongs to "Tides"... And I'm sorry for literally no commentary, but I'm over a day late in getting this posted and just need to get it up! Please discuss! And of course, you can now find "Tides" on the Spotify survivor champs playlist. As always, thanks to everyone for playing along! Tomorrow we'll start our Life on the Flip Sidealbum survivor, so give it a spin, choose your first victim, and check back for Round 1.
Colour of the Sun
Oldest Surfer on the Beach
Somethin' 'bout a Boat
Einstein Was a Surfer
Earl's Dead - Cadillac for Sale
The Rocket that Grandpa Rode
I Wave Bye Bye
Rue de la Guitare
I Want to Go Back to Cartagena
Useless but Important Information
I Want to Go Back to Cartagena (Spanish version)
I'm No Russian
Too Drunk to Karaoke
And a recap of our... WINNERS TO DATE
"The Captain and the Kid," from Down to Earth
"He Went to Paris," from A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean
"Come Monday," from Living and Dying in ¾ Time
"Ho Ho Ho & a Bottle of Rhum," from Christmas Island
"A Pirate Looks at Forty," from A1A
"In the Shelter," from High Cumberland Jubilee
"Havana Daydreamin'," from Havana Daydreamin'
"Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes," from Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes
"Son of a Son of a Sailor," from Son of a Son of a Sailor
"Boat Drinks," from Volcano
"The Weather Is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful," from Coconut Telegraph
"Somewhere Over China," from Somewhere Over China
"One Particular Harbour," from One Particular Harbour
"Knees of My Heart," from Riddles in the Sand
"Last Mango in Paris," from Last Mango in Paris
"When the Coast Is Clear," from Floridays
"That's What Living Is to Me," from Hot Water
"The Pascagoula Run," from Off to See the Lizard
"Lone Palm," from Fruitcakes
"Barefoot Children," from Barometer Soup
"School Boy Heart," from Banana Wind
"Island Fever," from Don't Stop the Carnival
"Semi-True Story," from Beach House on the Moon
"Far Side of the World," from Far Side of the World
"Coast of Carolina," from License to Chill
"Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On," from Take the Weather with You
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2020.10.19 08:04 AractusPBiblical scripture has changed significantly
There have been several long-standing myths about Judeo-Christian scriptures. Many were assumed to be true for centuries. One myth regarded the Masoretic text (MT) and viewed it as the “central Scripture text” (Tov 2020). What was not acknowledged widely until relatively recently was that ancient people had a very different idea about what sacred scripture was, and it wasn't a problem for them to have multiple variants of the same text. That didn't invalidate a text as scripture. Prior to the discovery of the DSS (dead sea scrolls) it was commonly believed that whenever the LXX departed wildly from the MT that it was just very poor translation. However we now know that the translators didn't always use the same textual variant that the MT witnesses. The MT is a very good copy and close witness for a single variant of each book that existed in the second temple period, however it doesn't necessarily represent an authoritative version as viewed by ancient Jews in the second temple period of each book. Moreover the use and meaning of the Hebrew bible scriptures is substantially different for Jews than it is for Christians. Even the very same texts are read and understood differently from competing perspectives. The redactional work certainly didn't end with the Hebrew bible. You probably know that 2 Corinthians and Philippians are widely believed to be composites of multiple Pauline letters. Something I didn't know until recently, because it's never talked about, is that some scholars also believe that Paul's most seminal letter Romans is also a composite from several Pauline letters. Then we have the gospels - Matthew, Luke, and John are all composites. Mark is the only one we know almost nothing about the source material. No matter what solution you have to the Synoptic Problem, Luke and Matthew composted their source material. John too, because he's reliant on Mark's passion. Even Marcion saw these problems in the second century - he rejected Matthew and John - accepted Luke as the only true gospel whilst recognising that it was corrupted, and he created his own gospel from it. The canonical gospels were not the only gospels used as scripture. There are over 30 Christian gospels that were used as scripture, but later not selected to be a part of the New Testament. And those are just the ones we know about, there may have been hundreds. There are specific examples we can talk about that mirror the style and form of the canonical gospels - take the Diatessaron gospel for example. A clear attempt at harmonising different Christian texts. Is this what Matthew and Luke were trying to accomplish with their gospels? Take Mark and harmonise it with Q and some other source documents? As noted by Watson 2016: “the Diatessaron treats Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as sources to be emended, co-ordinated, and elaborated, not as authoritative texts whose normativity a harmony seeks to vindicate. It is gospel rather than gospel harmony. Tatian’s treatment of his sources is on a continuum with Luke’s or Matthew’s”, and indeed Marcion’s as well. To put this another way, Matthew and Luke's use of Mark, and Marcion's use of Luke, is as a source text to be “emended, co-ordinated, and elaborated” and not as an authoritative text. Therefore what has happened with the gospels, the canonical ones that modern-day Christians consider scripture, is that they were chosen amongst many options, not as a process of inclusion but one of exclusion. This process created the illusion that early Christian texts were more harmonious than they really were by deriding the non-canonical texts as “heresies”. The meaning of heresy in Greek is “choice” (Elaine Pagels). Texts were excluded because in the opinion of early theologians they afforded early Christians too much choice. That's very different to how most Christians probably understand the word. They were not chosen on historical merit, but on theological merit to create an orthodoxy. The great irony today of course is that modern Christians have more choice than ever in what beliefs and rituals they want to hold sacred, the modern Church is indeed heretical. The obsession that modern scholars have had over placing the canonical gospels within the first century is I think both somewhat delusional, but even more importantly - irrelevant. Just because Mark is written c. 70-85 CE doesn't mean it has more merit as scripture than a gospel written in 125-150 CE. If that were the case, most of the Old Testament can be thrown out for being written centuries after Genesis and Exodus and seeking to alter the laws, practises, and history prescribed in earlier texts - beginning with Deuteronomy. The Gospel of Thomas was not selected precisely because Jesus teaches things that theologians in the third century and later considered to be contradictory with their orthodoxy. Furthermore the insistence by some scholars that Thomas was written c. 130-140 CE whilst simultaneously insisting that Matthew and Luke were written 80-90 CE, is entirely illogical and I think betrays their motivations. The date of Mark hardly binds the dates of Matthew and Luke any more than it can bind the date of the Diatessaron gospel. What if the “most excellent Theophilus” who Luke is writing to is Theophilus of Antioch? Charles Cutler Torrey, an excellent scholar I might add (RM Price), thought that the canonical gospels were written about 10 years after Jesus. What's noteworthy here is that Torrey advanced a hypothesis that is now largely abandoned, but one which he believed with academic conviction which is more than I can say for the scholars that write introductions for Evangelical bibles. If we assume that when Thomas was written it was a collection of sayings all of which were authentic to the historical Jesus, then it means that over time there was suppression of certain teachings of Jesus in order to create an orthodoxy. Of course, we need not make such a bold assumption. If one assumes that the Q-source sayings are historical, or were at the very least believed by the author to be attributed to the historical Jesus, then one must accept that at least some of the sayings in the gospel of Thomas have equal historical merit, and probably most if you could get your hands on the original version. After all more than half of Thomas is paralleled in the canonical gospels. We can therefore assume that at the time Thomas was written it was a document containing sayings that the author believed to be attributed to the historical Jesus, the same assumption we make for Q. This is a problem for those who argue that “scripture hasn't changed” because it is clear evidence of suppression of heresy. Of course the document we have today is a 4th century redacted text, translated into Coptic. It's not the original version that may have been written as early as 60-90 CE. It's widely believed that a redactor harmonised sayings with the canonical gospels (one would think if that's the case they probably harmonised some with non-canonical gospels as well). But it was still read, copied, and used as scripture at least in some Christian circles up to the 4th century. We can see from the early theologians that they did not think that the gospels were literal history. Irenaeus in Against Heresies II.22 wrote an entire chapter under the title: “The thirty Æons are not typified by the fact that Christ was baptized in His thirtieth year: He did not suffer in the twelfth month after His baptism, but was more than fifty years old when He died.” The earliest Latin bible commentary by Fortunatianus of Aquileia, interprets the canonical gospels as a series of allegories not literal history:
There's been an assumption that it's a literal record of truth - a lot of the early scholars got very worried about inconsistencies between Matthew and Luke, for example. But for people teaching the Bible in the fourth century, it's not the literal meaning which is important, it's how it's read allegorically. In contemporary Biblical scholarship a lot of the gospels are written with symbolism in mind. They are not setting out to be literal accounts but they are set out to be symbolic. Hugh Houghton
The fact that the gospels were literalised fundamentally changes how they are read, used, and understood. Irenaeus uses the gospels in several places, alongside the Old Testament scriptures, to make his argument that Jesus was at least 50 when crucified. This leads me to my last point. The origin and authority afforded to the Christian biblical canon fundamentally changed what Christians held to be scripture. It elevated the texts we know as the New Testament while illogically deriding the value of other scriptures - even letters of Paul in their original forms, and sayings gospels like Thomas. It changed by omission and suppression what Jesus taught, perhaps even what Paul taught as well. The canon itself implies sanctity of the Church, and its traditions and teachings - a fact that the Reformers realised and grappled with (HH Howorth 1909). The Church came first, then Scriptures came, and finally a Bible decided by the Church who declared only it as Christian scripture. I'm not sure this issue has ever been solved by any modern theologians: “If the Bible was not to be accepted and taken over on the authority of a Church which claimed to be infallible and under the continual guidance of divine wisdom, the reasons why its contents were to be accepted as inspired must be extraordinarily cogent and conclusive since the book itself was in future to become the single pedestal upon which the Christian faith was to be planted.” (Howorth 1909). Where does their elevated value - above that of all the “rejected” scriptures come from?
That final bar is not a throw-away. When Donald said that he wasn't just spitting out an author that rhymed in order to fit his flow. Kurt Vonnegut was an integral part of the Because The Internet Showroom. The Boy's Bookshelf. Full of Kurt Vonnegut./cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/2804140/childish-gambino-theverge10_2040.1386691303.jpg) This is a list of all the books on that bookshelf, as well as other books Donald has been seen with. Earlier I made a post including a list of dates where I thought Donald might drop something. Here's some reason as to why I assumed those dates. Soren Kierkegaard died on: November 11, 1855 Kurt Vonnegut was born: November 11, 1922
11.5.20 - Don't remember why 11.8.20 - Its the first Sunday of the month, as well as the closest Sunday to Soren Kierkegaard's death, and Kurt Vonnegut's birth. 11.11.20 - The birth, and death of two of Donald's early inspirations 11.15.20 - Second closest Sunday, but also follows the format of 3.15.20 11.22.20 - Follows the format of 3.15.20, 'Leak' on the 15th, full drop on the 22nd.
------------------------------------------------------------------------ III. Telegraph Ave. (”Oakland” by Lloyd)
Another reference to dreams, and stars. Dreams were originally addressed in Camp. And are further discussed in Guava Island/3.15.20. Stars are also mentioned in the 3.15.20 note. ------------------------------------------------------------------ II. Zealots of Stockholm [Free Information] Post 3.15.20, Zealots of Stockholm has to be one of the most introspective tracks on Because The Internet, given the information we have about Donald's personal life.
In the Screenplay, The Boy's father has just passed away, and he's flying to Stockholm to pick up his [father's] ashes. The Boy begins to question his relationship with his father, now that he's gone, and is wondering looking at their relationship from different perspectives, hoping to find peace.
I'd previously mentioned that Donald rejected, or at least pushed-away religion on Camp. This is a more direct version of that, where after The Boy's death, he questions his religious roots, and the idea of God, going as far to even call himself a heathen. Even outside the realm of 'The Boy', Donald refers to himself as an airport atheist on Royalty. Won't Stop - ROYALTY
The last bar, when taken literally is obvious. However, Watchtower is a Jehovah Witness magazine. So in other words, Donald has begun to fall apart has he's drifted away from God, and religion. This is more directly appropriated in the 3.15.20 note, where Donald addresses his 'most ugly'. It can be assumed his most ugly is his lack of Spirit, God, and overall Religion. He's ashamed of his upbringing, hence why the Watchtowers are stacked in his closet. (Right page, first paragraph) It's worth noting that the intro to the BTI Screenplay (Not 'That Power', but the actual screenplay) references a closet where dirty-clothes are piling up.
Little hills of dirty clothes grow up the walls from the floor. Same pile of shoes is there. Wall with same dirty spot. The closet is filled with white shirts and flower shorts. There's one very old and tattered Shearling coat that hangs to the right.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This juxtaposition of reality vs script segways well into the next song: Life, The Biggest Troll, where we question, 'Where is the line between Donny G and Gambino?'. III. Life: The Biggest Troll [Andrew Auernheimer]
Finally. The Outro is a call for help. In the screenplay this could allude to Nyla, yet all the same Nyla could be an existential plea for help in any form. Similar vibes are apparent in Human Sacrifice, and 'Outside'.
2020.10.16 12:57 finnagainsDelingpole: Opposition Leader Sir Keir Starmer May Just Have Saved Boris’s Fat Arse - Coronofascists Worse Than Coronoincompetent
Boris Johnson’s ailing, flailing, hopeless administration has been thrown a lifeline from an unlikely quarter: Labour Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer. Up until now, the painfully bland Starmer (Labour’s replacement for the barmier but more entertaining far-left loon Jeremy Corbyn) has been playing quite a canny game, best summed up with the dictum: ‘Never interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake.’ But now Starmer has finally come off the fence, dug out all the splinters embedded in his bottom, and chosen to rebrand himself and his party as the Forces of Lockdown. He has done this by demanding even more radical anti-Coronavirus measures than the ones already being imposed by Johnson’s unexpectedly authoritarian regime. Where Boris has fought shy of imposing a second lockdown — calling it the ‘nuclear deterrent’ — Starmer has decided he wants to implement immediately what he calls a ‘circuit breaker’ (ie another lockdown in all but name) lasting two to three weeks. In the short term, this might seem a canny tactic. According to pollsters YouGov, the majority of British people support the idea of another lockdown – so Starmer is arguably doing no more than reflecting the popular will. The regional satraps of Scotland and Wales, Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford, have taken a similar populist tack, adopting lockdown measures more stringent than those of the national government in Westminster in order to grandstand about how very much more they value human life and public safety. Drakeford, for example, has announced that Wales is now closed to English visitors from high-risk areas. How he can possibly enforce this is not immediately clear but it’s the gesture that matters: this charisma-free nobody from the Welsh Assembly has got himself another headline and shown that while in Johnson’s England it may be acceptable to let the virus rip, in Drakeford’s Wales no freedom is too valuable to be snatched away at the drop of a high-crowned Welsh hat if it only stops just one person dying of Covid. Oddly enough, though, the biggest beneficiary of this more-authoritarian-than-thou one-upmanship won’t be Sturgeon, Drakeford or Starmer but Boris Johnson. For some months now Johnson has attracted increasing degrees of loathing from the right of his party. Natural conservatives such as myself who voted for him in the belief that he would deliver meaningful Brexit, tackle cultural Marxism, and restore British pride have been appalled at the dog’s breakfast this priapic oaf of a lightweight buffoon has made of pretty much everything he has touched. Most disappointing of all has been his response to Covid-19. Johnson has claimed all along to be ‘following the science’. But up till now, the only scientists he seems to have listened to are the ones on his SAGE committee pushing ever more draconian measures – not to the growing body of equally reputable scientists (such as top Oxford epidemiologist Sunetra Gupta, co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration) who think the opposite. The various lockdowns, semi-lockdowns, two-week quarantines, travel restrictions, two-metre distances, compulsory masks, gym and pub closures, curfews and other measures he has imposed on Britain have not endeared him to those who believe that his policies are potentially scientifically ill-founded and economically and socially damaging. Boris the jolly ‘libertarian’ who once promised — ‘Voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts and increase your chances of driving a BMW M3’ — has mutated into Boris, the humourless dictator. Besides costing Boris the support of his base, his Coronafascist tendencies have also started to jeopardise support from his more recent constituency — the Red Wall of traditional Labour seats which voted for him at the last election on the basis of his Brexit policies and which helped give him his commanding, 80-seat parliamentary majority. One sign of this was the resignation this week of Chris Green, Conservative MP for Bolton West and Atherton, from his post as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Leader of the House of Lords. Green’s seat is in the North West, one of the regions hardest hit by coronavirus regulations. In his resignation letter, he claimed that the ‘cure is worse than the disease.’ So far, a broader rebellion by Johnson’s backbenchers has been kept at bay by a mix of bribery, bullying and inertia. But I’m told by one insider that around 80 per cent of the parliamentary party thinks the government’s Coronavirus policies are too extreme and that whenever Health Secretary Matt Hancock stands up to speak, the loathing from his fellow Conservatives is ‘visceral.’ It cannot be long before the cracked dam bursts. When it does, the fury of the backlash is likely to be severe. In his seminal analysis of group hysteria The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind, Gustave Le Bon writes that once a demagogue has lost his ‘prestige’, what was once the fashionable idea agreed on by almost everyone, suddenly becomes anathema and those most closely associated with it run a severe risk of being trampled by the mob. This is why, I would argue, the decision by Starmer, Sturgeon and Drakeford to take more authoritarian positions on coronavirus even than Johnson’s authoritarian government is a massive strategic error. What they have done is enabled Johnson to distance himself from his Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance and his Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty whose nicknames — ‘Unbalanced and Witless’ — perhaps indicate their growing loss of credibility in the eyes of political commentators and, increasingly, the British public. As Camilla Tominey has reported in the Telegraph, the rift is growing, with Whitty now pointedly letting it be known that he thinks Johnson has not been taking his expert advice seriously enough. “I am not confident, and nor is anybody confident, that the tier three proposals for the highest rates, if we did the absolute base case, and nothing more, would be enough to get on top of it,” [Whitty] said during the televised briefing. As if to hammer home the point, papers were unexpectedly released less than an hour later showing that Sage had argued for national measures such as stopping all household mixing, advice to work from home, and the closure of all pubs, restaurants and cafes. The minutes – dated September 20 and 21 – revealed that Mr Johnson had not only ignored their advice against introducing a 10pm curfew, but overruled them on a circuit breaker too. Suddenly, if only by default, Johnson’s regime has become the voice of moderation – at least compared with the Corona extremism of his leftist Opposition in Westminster and the regions. This can only be to the advantage of Johnson – and strikes me as an incredibly shortsighted, unforced error by the left. As an example of this, look at the piteous antics of Mayor of Manchester — and former Labour MP — Andy Burnham. Burnham would desperately like to exploit the righteous rage of all the Mancunians whose liberties have been curtailed, whose businesses and jobs destroyed, whose health impaired by the government’s draconian policies. But he can’t in any conscience – or without attracting ridicule – because his main criticism of government policy up till now is that the lockdowns it has imposed weren’t early enough or strong enough. In other words, had his Labour party been in power, it would have imposed exactly the same policies — only stronger — which have been making life such misery for his constituents. It’s in working-class northern areas like Burnham’s that the rebellion to government coronavirus policy looks likely to begin. In fact, it has already started in Liverpool, with the revolt of the gym owners — who have collectively decided that no matter what the government says, they are keeping their gyms open. At least Liverpool gym owner has had his business forcibly shut down by armed police. His crowdfunder has already attracted over £30,000 (over a £10,000 target). The Red Wall, it seems, has had enough. Labour — under Keir Starmer — and hard-leftists like Sturgeon and Drakeford, could have exploited this revolt of the masses by criticising government policy for the terrible effect it is having on livelihoods and health (in the form of untreated cancers, suicides and so on). Instead, they have sent a signal to voters that they are offering no meaningful alternative to government policy – just a more extreme version of it. This will come back to bite them. Boris Johnson has succeeded through life more by luck than judgement. Starmer’s decision to campaign for a ‘Circuit Breaker’ — aka another bloody lockdown — has just provided him with his jammiest Get Out of Jail Free yet. So much for that forensic brain the lawyer Starmer is supposed to possess. The man is clearly even more of a blithering idiot than Johnson is. Socialist_
2020.10.15 20:47 Law_And_Politics[Counterintelligence] QAnon, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Stalin's Great Purge, and active Kremlin psych-ops—implications for the election.
I'll preface my comments by saying I don't believe Clinton lost the 2016 election because of Kremlin interference; she lost because she's an arrogant neolib who ran a horrible campaign that offered nothing to workers. At the time, I didn't believe the Kremlin directed the Podesta hack, or that Guccifer 2.0 is GRU, or many of the other allegations, until the Mueller investigation began to evidence the claims. However, I think it's safe to say now that interference was, both, a DNC election tactic against Trump and true in fact. The evidence is of four kinds: (1) connections between Trump associates, most prominently Michael Flynn, and the Kremlin; (2) a loan of $330m from the KGB-linked bank Yugra that was deposited at DBTCA NYC; (3) United States foreign policy under the Trump administration; and (4) parallels between the Czarist, antisemitic conspiracy The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Stalin's Great Purge, and the QAnon conspiracy in relation to psych-ops in the 2020 election. Deutsche cancelled their direct lending to Trump in 2011. Around 2012, Trump developed connections with the billionaire Ziya Mammadov, who was described in diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks as "notoriously corrupt." Mammadov was the Azerbaijani Transportation Minister and had close connections to Russia; he's literally an honorary Russian. Trump also connected with another Russian-Azerbaijani billionaire, Aras Agalarov, who is one of the largest landowners in Moscow with Putin's permission. As a result of these relationships, Trump became embroiled in the Baku Trump Tower, which was a colossal failure. (This is speculation now; everything thus far is fact on the record.) Enter the Kremlin via Mammadov and/or Agalarov, who say, "Mr. Trump, we are so sorry about the Baku project. We know you lost money and reputation on that building. We can make it up to you. In fact, we have an idea. You see, we have tapped into part of a $2t blackmarket, and need somewhere to launder our profits. Your golf courses are perfectly suitable properties to launder profits. What do you think?" And Trump agreed. This was the kompromat Putin used to ask Trump to run in 2016. (Back to the facts.) Trump secured an undisclosed source of financing shortly thereafter. Yugra Bank, a tiny Russian bank with only 8 locations, and not in the top 100 Russian banks by capitalization, created a financial relationship with Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas (DBTCA). Directly after Alexy Khotin took over the bank in April 2013, the bank sent $330m (a huge amount in relation to the size of their operation and potential business interests in the US) to the NYC branch of DBTCA—where Trump has his personal accounts. Khotin is connected directly to Nikolai Patrushev, former head of the KGB. In 2014, Eric Trump said on the record the Trump Organization had secured a new line of funding from "the Russians." It is quite a coincidence Azerbaijan would war with Armenia—a conflict that could not have occurred without Kremlin approval—a couple days before the US public became aware Trump was infected with the virus. Moscow's interference in the Nagorno-Karabakh goes back to Stalin. The implication is Putin knew of Trump's infection before we did, which is perhaps the reason why the administration refuses to confirm when Trump last tested negative for the virus. Consider also the assassination of Soleimani, perhaps on Kremlin intelligence as to his location—it benefits the Kremlin to destabilize the broader region to relieve pressure on Assad and allow for reconsolidation of Moscow's influence in Syria. Or pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal—it benefits the Kremlin to have a nuclear ally in the region to counter Israel. Or pulling out of the Paris climate accord—it benefits the Kremlin by guaranteeing future sales of their essential national resource: oil and natural gas. Or pulling out of Afghanistan at the last second during peace talks with the Taliban—it benefits the Kremlin to have the US withdraw from the region completely before any political agreement is made. You tell me how many coincidences is one too many. The Protocols The Protocols were described (pg. 115-117) in 1964 by Senators Thomas Dodd and Kenneth Keating in a Senate Internal Security Subcommittee Report:
Every age and county has had its share of fabricated “historic” documents which have been foisted on an unsuspecting public for some malign purpose. In the United States such forgeries crop up periodically in the underworld of subpolitics. One of the most notorious and most durable of these is the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. According to the Protocols, international communism is simply a manifestation of a world Jewish conspiracy which seeks to subjugate all the non-Jewish peoples of the world. The real enemy, therefore, according to the Protocols, is not international communism but “international Jewry.” The Protocols are one of a number of fraudulent documents that peddle the myth of an “international Jewish conspiracy.” In recent years, for example, documents that bear a remarkable resemblance to the Protocols have been printed in the Soviet Union as part of the unrelenting campaign against the Jewish minority in the Soviet Union. The one difference is that the documents circulated in the Soviet Union tend to equate “international Jewry” with “international capitalism.” (Emphasis added.) Although the Protocols have been repeatedly and authoritatively exposed as a vicious hoax they continue to be circulated by the unscrupulous and accepted by the unthinking. The Subcommittee on Internal Security not only receives inquires from time to time about the Protocols, from sincere but misguided people, but on occasion is even exhorted to advert to this “document” as a source of information concerning Communist machinations. It is impossible not to be concerned over the cynical way in which some groups in the name of anticommunism continue to use the Protocols to promote prejudice and hostility among Americans, and thus weaken this country’s efforts in the real fight against communism. The undersigned Senators have, therefore, recommended the publication of the following analysis by the subcommittee in order to lay to rest any honest question concerning the nature, origin, and significance of this ancient canard.
The Protocols were a Czarist hoax, a forgery purporting to be an inside account of a global Jewish conspiracy to control the world, published first in Russia in 1903. The work was designed to stoke nazi violence against communists and minorities so that the ruling Czarist class could divide and conquer the Polish population. In 1921, Philip Graves, writing for The Times of London from Constantinople, discoveredThe Protocols were a direct plagiarism of Joly's Dialogues in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu, a political satire of Napoleon III's France first published in 1864 in Geneva. Nonetheless, The Protocols became a staple of nazis who took it to be a real work. Henry Ford repeatedly tried to convince FBI Director Hoover of the truth of The Protocols and disseminated 500,000 copies around the United States . . . hence Michigan going off the rails these days. The themes of the conspiracy are: (1) An international political and economic conspiracy is using the media as tools; (2) Jewish people are inherently arrogant and corrupt; (3) Jews treat business as cold and heartless and gentiles as slaves through the use of bonds; (4) The purpose of the Jewish conspiracy is to seize all of the world's gold and land and subject all other people to slavery forever. QAnon & The Great Purge https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QAnon
QAnon is a far-right conspiracy theory. It alleges that a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles is running a global child sex-trafficking ring and plotting against President Donald Trump, who is battling against the cabal. The theory also commonly asserts that Trump is planning a day of reckoning known as "The Storm", when thousands of members of the cabal will be arrested. . . . A user named "Q Clearance Patriot" first appeared on the /pol/ board of 4chan on October 28, 2017, posting in a thread titled "Calm Before the Storm", a reference to Trump's cryptic description of a gathering of United States military leaders he attended as "the calm before the storm". "The Storm" became QAnon parlance for an imminent event in which thousands of alleged suspects will be arrested, imprisoned, and executed for being child-eating pedophiles. . . . The Washington Post and The Forward magazine have called QAnon's targeting of Jewish figures like George Soros and the Rothschilds "striking anti-Semitic elements" and "garden-variety nonsense with racist and anti-Semitic undertones". A Jewish Telegraphic Agency article in August 2018 asserted: "some of QAnon's archetypical elements—including secret elites and kidnapped children, among others—are reflective of historical and ongoing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories". The Anti-Defamation League reported that while "the vast majority of QAnon-inspired conspiracy theories have nothing to do with anti-Semitism", "an impressionistic review" of QAnon tweets about Israel, Jews, Zionists, the Rothschilds, and Soros "revealed some troubling examples" of antisemitism. The Czarist hoaxThe Protocols of the Elders of Zionhas intersected with the QAnon conspiracy theories, with Republican QAnon fan Mary Ann Mendoza retweeting a Twitter thread about theRothschild family, Satanic High Priestesses, and American presidents saying that The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion Is Not A Fabrication. And, It Certainly Is Not Anti-Semitic To Point Out This Fact." (Emphasis added.) Mendoza, who sits on the advisory board of Women for Trump and was scheduled to speak at the 2020 Republican convention until news came out of her Twitter activity, later denied knowing the content of the thread, although anti-Semitic references appeared in the first few tweets. Similarly, Trump has denied knowing anything about QAnon except that QAnon fans like him and "love our country." By 2020, QAnon followers were advancing a theory that Hollywood elites were engaging in "adrenochrome harvesting," in which adrenaline is extracted from children's blood to be oxidized into the psychoactive drug adrenochrome. Adrenochrome harvesting is rooted in antisemitic myths of blood libel dating to the Middle Ages that Jews murder Christian children for their blood for use in religious rituals. QAnon believers have also promoted a centuries-old antisemitic trope about an international banking conspiracy orchestrated by the Rothschild family. Genocide scholarGregory Stantonhas described QAnon as a "Nazigroup rebranded", and its theories as a rebranded version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. (Emphasis added.)
In addition to the connection to The Protocols, it is important to repeat the conspiracists believe in "The Storm," an imminent and revolutionary event where Trump's political opponents and others will be rounded up in mass arrests and tried for their crimes . . . which is a perfectly accurate historical description of Stalin's "Great Purge" of political opponents: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Purge https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow_Trials QAnon is a revamped Czarist conspiracy mixed with Stalinism, which, combined with the fact the target of the conspiracy is the American people, strongly implicates the Kremlin as the sponsor of the conspiracy. 1991 Soviet coup d'etat and its effect on Putin's psychology I believe Putin's ascent to power and personal psychology revolve around two critical moments in his career. The first occurred while Putin served in the KGB in Dresden from 1985 to 1990. When East Germany fell on November 9, 1989, Putin helped destroy sensitive intelligence with fire while removing the most critical information to Moscow. It must have quite had an effect on Putin, seeing an entire country collapse before his eyes. It is somewhat surprising, then, that Putin correctly calculated the 1991 coup d'etat against Gorbachev would fail, by resigning from the FSB (who were involved in the coup) on the second day. When Gorbachev returned to power, Putin had proven himself as an effective intelligence agent and a loyal statist and anti-communist. Putin was therefore perfectly positioned with the right connections to go into politics after the fall of the USSR. By 1999, Putin was saying communism "is a blind alley, far away from the mainstream of civilization." No doubt his witnessing first hand the failure of communists to take power in 1991 and the failure of Eastern Germany before when communists had power affected his worldview, which is pure-power realpolitik. Natural resources, land grabs, nuclear weapons, hypersonic missiles, artificial general intelligence, human DNA-editing (his daughter Maria Voronstova, born Mariya Vladimirovna Putina, runs point on this now)—it's pretty hard to miss the conclusion Putin truly believes in a form of pure monopoly—ownership of everything by five or six families with entrenched power—and is seeking a pathway to a singleton) to expand his neo-feudal system. He believes the world will be controlled one day by one central authority with all meaningful power, and he intends to be that power. The irony of using a conspiracy the Jewish people are trying to do exactly what he is in fact doing, pitting Nazis v. Communists to disrupt his primary geopolitical rival . . . divide and conquer, it's an old game. 2020 Election Here is a video of Michael Flynn swearing allegiance to QAnon with his family on July 4, 2020. Two days prior a QAnonner made an attempt to assassinate Justin Trudeau. I am sure Putin smiled when he saw that . . . pretty big result for a psych-op that began only in mid 2017. It is important to note QAnon is just one of a number of complimentary poisons that is infecting millions of Americans through social media. The Proud Boys threatening civil war if Trump loses; the Base's plot to shoot up a second amendment rally (and the leader's flight to Moscow after the FBI busted his operators); the Wolverine Watchmen's attempt on the Governor of Michigan; the boogaloo; the Patriot Coalition; the thin blue line; the fascists in our police forces and military—it is all related. We did not get here overnight, but through continuous manufacturing of public opinion towards fascism. Cui bono? Remember, Putin watched the USSR fall shortly after a failed coup attempt on the Congress that was quickly put down. Anything from a major (false-flag) terrorist attack to storming a state capitol is possible between now and November. There are certainly tens of thousands of fash, if not a couple hundred thousand, with the means and motivation to attempt a coup. All they need is the right opportunity. Stay frosty.
2020.10.13 22:46 cincbusIntroducing: The Spanish Royal Family
Royal Family Twitter:u/CasaReal King Alfonso III (1886-1941) Gonna go back one more generation than usual to start this wild ride. Alfonso the III's father, Alfonso XII, died while his mother was pregnant with him, thus he was King upon his birth in 1886. She served as regent until his 16th birthday when he assumed full authority as King. After a series of poor choices, he aligned his fortunes to the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, who fell from power in 1930. Municipal elections in 1931 resulted in a landslide victory for the Republican and Socialist parties, and they demanded the King abdicate the throne. The King went into exile but refused to abdicate. While exiled, his eldest son, Alfonso, renounced his right to the throne to marry a commoner. His second son, Jaime, renounced his rights to the throne because he was deaf. This left his third son, Juan, as heir apparent. In 1947, General Francisco Franco declared Spain a monarchy yet again, calling it a “restoration”. However, he did not trust Juan as heir. As a result, in 1969, his son, Juan Carlos, was selected as King. King Juan Carlos I (b. 1938) (abdicated) Juan Carlos is the grandson of Alfonso XIII, the last king of Spain before the monarchy was abolished in 1931. He was born in exile in Rome, however was allowed back to Spain in 1948 to be further educated there. He joined the army, completing his officer training from 1955-1957. Afterwards, he spent time in both the naval school and the air force school, and later studied law, international political economy and public finance at the University of Madrid. He was selected to be King of Spain over his father, Juan, by General Franco. So, why did Franco bring back the monarchy? I found this answer online:
“We’re accustomed to believing a tyrant like Franco could do anything he wanted. Yet, in reality, his options were very limited, amounting to: a) Do nothing OR appoint another military strongman to take his place. b) Restore the republic. c) Restore the monarchy. There really are no further choices. Regarding (a), Franco was well aware that dictatorships are little more than the cult surrounding the person of the dictator, who is unable to transfer the cult to any 3rd party. So, a dead dictator equates to a dead dictatorhip, perhaps not immediately but before very long the ‘Franco Regime Without Franco’ was bound to implode. Franco accepted this to be an awkward truth, but he swallowed the bitter pill nonetheless. Option (b) was never in the cards — Franco detested the Republic he fought to unseat and never even considered bring one back to govern Spain post-mortem. That only leaves option (c). For Franco, the issue was not Monarchy Vs. Republic but rather (i) what sort of monarchy, and (ii.) incarnated by whom? The choices might seem straight-forward, but reality was rather complex since the legitimate heir to the throne (Juan de Bourbon, Count of Barcelona) was a man with whom Franco agreed on practically nothing. The Count of Barcelona made his political philosophies publicly know in the so-called Laussane Manifesto (Mar, 1945), the contents of which were diametrically opposed to the Franco Regime on practically all matters of importance. Hence, in ’47 Franco did the only thing he regarded as workable — restoring the monarchy in theory but leaving the throne vacant, pending an eventual nomination to fill the seat. The temporary vacancy last 22 years when the Count’s son (Juan Carlos I) was officially designated as heir to the dual roles of head-of-state & commander-in-chief of the armed forces.”
Furthermore, Franco disliked Juan (father of Juan Carlos), whom he suspected of being an Anglophile (Franco despised the British and referred to Great Britain as “perfidious Albion”); he was also determined to be the sole arbiter of Spain’s destiny. And so he was. For the next thirty-six years, Franco remained the country’s unchallenged caudillo, or strongman, and although he declared Spain a monarchy once again, in 1947, he kept the throne empty, leaving Don Juan to languish and fret in neighboring Portugal, even as Franco himself assumed the role of dispenser of noble titles. In a cruelly Shakespearean twist, Franco asked Don Juan to send him his son, Juan Carlos, who was then ten, to be educated and groomed under Franco’s supervision. In 1969, when Juan Carlos was thirty-one, Franco summoned him and informed the young man of his decision to make him his successor, with the title of King of Spain . (Excerpt from this article) Juan Carlos met and consulted with Franco many times, standing next to him at ceremonies, publicly supporting his regime, and praising his government. Franco gave full control to Juan Carlos 3 weeks before his death in 1975. Juan Carlo’s position was further legitimized on 1977 when his father formally renounced his claim to the throne. On paper, Juan Carlos retained fairly extensive reserve powers. He was the guardian of the Constitution and was responsible for ensuring that it was obeyed. In practice, since the passage of the Constitution (and especially since 1982), he took a mostly non-partisan and representative role, acting almost entirely on the advice of the government. Juan Carlos enjoyed extreme popularity in Spain for many years until multiple scandals (detailed below) were made public about him and his family. As a result, he abdicated the throne on behalf of his son. Coup D'Etat Ever since the dictator Francisco Franco had died in 1975, Spain had been changing at the speed of light. Democratic reform was the watchword of the decade, and each reform came one after the other. King Juan Carlos had handed power to parliament and instituted a new constitution. It was all way too fast for Spain's conservatives. According to history.com, it came to a head on February 23, 1981. Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Tejero led 200 members of the civil guard in invading the Cortes, Spain's legislature building. They fired shots in the air and took the parliament hostage. Spaniards were glued to their television sets for 18 hours as the band of civil guards held the Cortes. King Juan Carlos appealed to the Spanish army to condemn these renegades and affirm their loyalty to the new constitution. The army did and the bandits had to retreat in shame, thus preserving Spain's democracy. Shooting of Little Brother In 1956, at age 18, he shot his younger brother Alfonso in the head while the two were playing with a revolver. He has maintained throughout his life that it was an accident, however Alfonso passed away as a result of his injuries. The financial scandal Juan Carlos’s daughter, Princess Cristina, is married to Inaki Urdangarin. Urdangarin and his ex-business associate, Diego Torres, were the leading figures in the Nóos Institute, a non-profit that secured no-bid contracts from the regional governments of Valencia and the Balearic Islands using Urdangarin’s influence.Urdangarin and Torres also used their non-profit to divert around €6.2 million from public contracts secured for organizing sports events into private accounts. Urdangarin’s wife, Cristina de Borbón, sat on the board of a company, Aizoon, that was allegedly used to channel part of these funds. She was made to testify in the case, and was ultimately fined for having benefited from her husband’s scheme, but was acquitted of tax fraud complicity. In June 2018 he was sentenced to 5 years and 10 months in prison; he is currently imprisoned in Ávila. The hunting trip In 2012 the King injured himself on an elephant hunting trip in Botswana. At a time when Spainairds were suffering from a lagging economy, this trip was viewed as obscene in terms of expenses and extravagance. Spain’s unemployment was at 23%, and nearly 50% for young workers. To make matters worse, he was the honorary president of the Spanish branch of the World Wildlife Fund. The public was only made aware of the trip because the King was injured and had to be helicoptered from the scene. Even worse - his mistress was there with him. Abdication In 2014 Juan Carlos announced his plans to abdicate the throne in favor of his son, Felipe. Post-Abdication Scandals More recently, it emerged that Juan Carlos had accepted a previously undeclared “gift” of a hundred million dollars from Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah—allegedly a bribe in return for his help in arranging a lucrative fast-rail-construction contract. Further roiling the public, one of Juan Carlos’s former lovers, a Danish-born events organizer named Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein—who had accompanied him on his Botswana safari—has acknowledged that Juan Carlos had given her, some years ago, sixty-five million euros (worth about eighty-four million dollars at the time). This “gift” is believed to have come out of the funds given to Juan Carlos by King Abdullah. The latest bombshell shaking the royal house involves secret audio recordings of princess Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, a German aristocrat living in Monte Carlo who for years has been romantically linked to the 80-year-old former king and now accuses him of using her name to buy property in Morocco, of accumulating a secret fortune hidden in several Swiss bank accounts under the name of one of his cousins, Alvaro d'Orleans Bourbon, of using fake cut-outs to commit tax fraud and of taking millions in commissions on state contracts. As a result, the current King Felipe announced he would renounce his personal inheritance from his father and that his father would no longer receive a royal allowance. Afterwards, Juan Carlos vanished. Exile In August of this year (2020), Juan Carlos sent a public letter to King Felipe VI, saying that he would be leaving the country due to “the public repercussions that certain past events in [his] private life are generating.” Later reports speculated that he had either gone to Portugal, where his father, Don Juan de Borbón, lived in exile for part of his life, or to the Dominican Republic, which he has visited multiple times. It’s a sign that the figurehead of Spanish democracy understands that he has endangered his legacy—and the monarchy itself. It has not been published where Juan Carlos is currently living, however photos have been obtained that appear to show Juan Carlos disembarking a plane in Abu Dhabi. Read more: https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2020/08/juan-carlos-former-king-why-is-he-in-exile https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53642283#:~:text=Juan%20Carlos%20abdicated%20in%202014,took%20during%20Spain's%20financial%20crisis. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51902673 https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53415781 Marriage: Juan Carlos married Princess Sofia of Greece and Denmark, daughter of the King of Greece in 1962. In an effort for young, suitable European royals to meet and mingle (and also to boost tourism in Greece), Sophia’s mother arranged a Mediterranean cruise on the Greek yacht Agamemnon in 1954. Several teenaged and twenty-something royals were invited on the trip touring a handful of Greek islands. Juan Carlos and Sofia were among the young royals on the cruise. They met up at additional weddings and events over the next several years, and were officially reunited in Rome at the 1960 Olympic Games. The Greek royal family held a dinner for the Spanish guests onboard their ship, Polemistis. Following the Olympics, Juan Carlos and his family were invited to spend Christmas 1960 in Greece. In 1961, Sofia traveled to the UK to attend the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Kent. Juan Carlos was picked to serve as her escort. Following the wedding, Juan Carlos spent the summer of 1961 in Greece and the two announced their engagement in 1961. Due to Juan Carlos’ uneasy position in Spain, an Athens wedding was planned for May, the beginning of the tourist season in Greece. The celebrations involved 4 ½ months of nearly round-the-clock preparation headed by Colonel Dimitri Levidis, Grand Marshal of the Greek royal court. Their marriage has never been a happy one and Juan Carlos is known to have had multiple affairs. Though the King is in exile, they remain married, however it is known that they have lived largely separate lives for many years. Their wedding and more You can see him giving a speech in English here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4FJczB_aco Queen Sofia (b. 1938) Sofia is the eldest child of King Paul of Greece, and is the daughter, sister, wife, and mother of a King. She was educated at a boarding school in Germany, then studied childcare, music, and archeology in Athens. She was a reserve member of Greece’s gold medal winning sailing team at the 1960 Olympic games. Sofia is now immensely popular in Spain. She is known to quietly endure the monarchy’s trials, putting her own professional obligations ahead of anything else. This was not, however, always the case. Throughout her reign she has been regarded with skepticism because of her foreign background and mediocre Spanish skills. In 2008, Queen Sofía shared some of her political ideology during an interview with journalist Pilar Urbano. One of them was her belief that same-sex marriage should not be called marriage. "If those persons want to live together, dress up as bride and groom and get married, they can do so, but that should not be called marriage because it is not," the queen is quoted as saying in Urbano's book. Her controversial comments about same-sex marriage particularly elicited outrage among liberal groups, and the Royal Palace quickly shared an apology but qualified it by implying she had been misquoted. Though her husband is in exile, Sofia has remained in Spain and continues to undertake official duties on behalf of her son, the King. She is a vital weapon in Felipe VI’s battle to shore up the popularity of a monarchy hit by scandal and now, suggestions from some politicians that it might have seen better days. Consistently one of the most admired members of the Spanish Royal Family, the enduring affection and respect that Queen Sofía inspires will be needed by her son as he faces a turbulent future for the monarchy. She speaks Greek, English, German and Spanish. See her giving a speech in English King Felipe VI (b. 1968) Ascended the throne in 2014 upon the abdication of his father. He is head of state and commander-in-chief of the Spanish Armed Forces. He attended high school in Canada and studied at the Autonomous University of Madrid. He completed his academic studies by obtaining a Master of Science in Foreign Service degree from Georgetown, where he was the roommate of his cousin Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece. From 1985-1993 he spent time completing his military training. Felipe speaks Spanish, Catalan, French, English, and Greek. He was a member of the Spanish Olympic sailing team at the Barcelona games in 1992 and was the Spanish team’s flag bearer. Marriage: The exact details around how Felipe and Letizia met are unknown, however it is reported that they met at a dinner party in 2003. They dated in secret for more than a year before surprising the public with their engagement in 2003.The two were married in 2004 in Madrid. Her Gown More on the wedding, more here Watch their wedding (it POURED rain) See Felipe meet Barack Obama (in English) Author's Note: Google photos of Felipe. You won't be sorry. Queen Letizia (b. 1972) Letizia was born in Spain, the daughter of a journalist and registered nurse. She completed a bachelor’s degree in journalism as well as a master’s degree in audiovisual journalism. She worked as the evening anchor of the TVE evening news, the most viewed newscast in Spain. She reported from Washington DC in 2000 on the presidential elections, 2001 from Ground Zero, and 2003 from Iraq. She was actually married once before Felipe to a writer and high school teacher after dating for almost 10 years. Their marriage lasted one year. Letizia is far from Spain’s most popular member of the royal family. There was a public spat with her mother-in-law, and it made news when she scolded her fiance for interrupting her during their engagement interview. She is known for her fashion and beauty. In 2008 she underwent surgery on her nose to “correct a respiratory problem”, however afterwards her nose was notably different. Author's Note: I feel like I gave a negative impression of Letizia here, but to be honest it's a bit hard to find information about heher personality. I would love someone who is more familiar to fill us all in. Watch her speak in English here Felipe and Letizia have two daughters: Crown Princess Leonor, Princess of Asturias (b. 2005) Leonor is heir presumptive to the throne of Spain. She does not go by Crown Princess, but rather by Princess of Asturias, the title given to the heirs in Spain (like Prince of Wales in the UK). The Spanish monarchy operates under a system of male-preference cognatic primogeniture, meaning if Felipe were to have a male heir he would replace Leonor in the line of succession. Felipe and Letizia appear to be done having children, however. In 2018, she was invested by her father with the Order of the Golden Fleece, the most senior order in Spain and the highest award the King can bestow. She is one of only 4 females to be inducted into it. The other 3 women are Queen Elizabeth, Princess Beatrix, and Queen Margrethe of Denmark (no big deal!!!) See the proud fathedaughter moment here. In 2019, at age 14, she gave a speech in both English and Spanish at the Princess of Asturias Awards Ceremony. (such poise!!) Another speech (her proud parents *I'm crying*!!) Infanta Sofia (b. 2007) Sofia is the second daughter of the King and Queen. She is a student in Madrid. See photos of the family from Spain’s National Day on 10/12. https://twitter.com/CasaReal/status/1315601785382416384?s=20 Infanta Elena, Duchess of Lugo (b. 1963) Elena is the eldest child of King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia, however because Spain operates under male-preference cognatic primogeniture, her younger brother Felipe is King of Spain. She married Jamie de Marichalar y Saenz de Tejada in Seville and has two children:
Felipe (b. 1998)
Victoria (b. 2000)
Elena and Jamie divorced in 2009. She undertakes engagements on behalf of her brother, the King. Infanta Cristina, (stripped of titleDuchess of Palma de Mallorca) (b. 1965) Cristina was born in Madrid, the younger daughter of the King and Queen. She is a sailor and competed in the 1988 summer Olympics. She completed a degree in political science from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, then an MA in international relations from New York University in 1990. She then worked at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. She speaks Spanish, Catalan, English, French, and Greek. Cristina married handball player Inaki Urdangarin in Barcelona in 1997. They have four children:
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