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2020.09.27 06:08 AutoModerator DAILY COVID-19 MEGATHREAD - September 27, 2020

All Coronavirus (COVID-19) links, discussions and related pics belong in this thread.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in NYC, please visit: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home
Questions? Call the COVID-19 Hotline: 1-888-364-3065 or Ask a Question here
If you are witnessing price gouging on items like cleaning supplies, toilet paper or soap, please call the New York State Department of Consumer Protection. They have launched a toll-free hotline 1-800-697-1220 and will investigate reports of unfair price increases amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. You can also file a complaint online at https://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/form/ComplaintForm1.asp
To report a scam or other consumer problem related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please click here.
Essential services that are allowed to remain open: Click here
For more information about COVID-19 and country-specific travel restrictions, please visit the CDC website.
The New York Blood Center Enterprises (NYBCe) strongly urges individuals who feel healthy and well to make an appointment at a donor center or blood drive to give blood, platelets and plasma. Walk-ins are also welcome. For more information, visit: https://nybloodcenter.org/donate-blood/covid-19-and-blood-donation-copy/
If you have a suggestion on how to improve this Daily Megathread, please send the team a message.
To see COVID-19 Megathread Discussions from previous days, please click here.
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2020.09.26 06:08 AutoModerator DAILY COVID-19 MEGATHREAD - September 26, 2020

All Coronavirus (COVID-19) links, discussions and related pics belong in this thread.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in NYC, please visit: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home
Questions? Call the COVID-19 Hotline: 1-888-364-3065 or Ask a Question here
If you are witnessing price gouging on items like cleaning supplies, toilet paper or soap, please call the New York State Department of Consumer Protection. They have launched a toll-free hotline 1-800-697-1220 and will investigate reports of unfair price increases amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. You can also file a complaint online at https://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/form/ComplaintForm1.asp
To report a scam or other consumer problem related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please click here.
Essential services that are allowed to remain open: Click here
For more information about COVID-19 and country-specific travel restrictions, please visit the CDC website.
The New York Blood Center Enterprises (NYBCe) strongly urges individuals who feel healthy and well to make an appointment at a donor center or blood drive to give blood, platelets and plasma. Walk-ins are also welcome. For more information, visit: https://nybloodcenter.org/donate-blood/covid-19-and-blood-donation-copy/
If you have a suggestion on how to improve this Daily Megathread, please send the team a message.
To see COVID-19 Megathread Discussions from previous days, please click here.
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2020.09.25 06:09 AutoModerator DAILY COVID-19 MEGATHREAD - September 25, 2020

All Coronavirus (COVID-19) links, discussions and related pics belong in this thread.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in NYC, please visit: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home
Questions? Call the COVID-19 Hotline: 1-888-364-3065 or Ask a Question here
If you are witnessing price gouging on items like cleaning supplies, toilet paper or soap, please call the New York State Department of Consumer Protection. They have launched a toll-free hotline 1-800-697-1220 and will investigate reports of unfair price increases amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. You can also file a complaint online at https://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/form/ComplaintForm1.asp
To report a scam or other consumer problem related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please click here.
Essential services that are allowed to remain open: Click here
For more information about COVID-19 and country-specific travel restrictions, please visit the CDC website.
The New York Blood Center Enterprises (NYBCe) strongly urges individuals who feel healthy and well to make an appointment at a donor center or blood drive to give blood, platelets and plasma. Walk-ins are also welcome. For more information, visit: https://nybloodcenter.org/donate-blood/covid-19-and-blood-donation-copy/
If you have a suggestion on how to improve this Daily Megathread, please send the team a message.
To see COVID-19 Megathread Discussions from previous days, please click here.
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2020.09.25 00:49 wolfyin7 Thank god for a relatively smooth purchase and registration process

Just received my registration in the mail this morning to conclude (well, there's still the title but that can wait) a pretty positive trade-in experience with Carvana.

Vehicle Selection
It was the end of August when I decided to trade in my old Jeep for a newer Wrangler, and started browsing online for suitable options (wanted a newer JL with some newer features like apple carplay and stuff). I live in Western Massachusetts and the dealers around me don't have the inventory i wanted, and i didn't want to buy a new one. I monitored Carvana's inventory for a while and noticed how fast their cars went, but most of the cars with the options I want are previously rental cars, and I wanted to stay away from those. One day I was browsing and away from home (in NYC), so the website set my location to be NYC and I saw a Wrangler that perfectly meet my requirements, but strangely, it wasn't in the list if I switch the option back to western MA. I saw the car's location was only in Indiana so i thought the delivery fee to NY/MA is probably not much different, so I added it to my Saved list. When I got home and dug out the title for my previous car for the trade in, I didn't know if I was able to start the purchasing process since it wasn't an option when I search the cars in my area, but it turned out to be fine and I was able to start the purchasing process with the same amount of delivery fee displayed before. So I guess if you don't see the car you want, try to change your location and browse elsewhere, there might be some cars you're not seeing in the list in your location. Now since the Massachusetts RMV requires the title form to be signed by your insurance agent prior to taking possession of the vehicle, I had to complete the form within 24 hours after Carvana sent it to me. I've seen other buyers in MA that had to do a 3 way call with Carvana and their insurance agent, but for GEICO I literally just requested a signed form through their online portal and filled in the rest after I added the new car to my policy, so it was really no hassle or anything.
Important: if you receive any documents from Carvana for you to sign, make sure to check all the details they filled in. For my MA title form the guy really did a bad job filling in my information and I had to call them to make several corrections on the form. And they still messed up my name on the purchase agreement for my trade-in vehicle on the delivery handoff, so I had to write corrections on the form and sign initial for the corrections.

Delivery
I set the delivery to 8 days later so it gives them enough time to figure out logistics. Plus transporting from Indiana to MA is not like going across the entire country, but I was still worried as there're so many horror stories on this sub about sudden change of delivery date with a short notice, or "delivery truck breaking down", lol. Luckily, nothing happened to me and I receive a call from the local delivery person an hour before set delivery time, asking me to send a selfie with my driver's license, and proof of insurance on the new vehicle. She arrived on time with a vehicle basically as described on the website, and some of the cosmetic "defects" noted on the website was really hard to see in person, I think it helped when the car I got was a newer model with really low mileage. It was a 2018 model but only sold by the dealership in summer of 19, and I guess the previous owner really only drove it for 8 months until the pandemic hit and had to sell it. When I took it for the test drive, the deliver person stayed in my yard to check my trade-in vehicle, so I wasn't exactly sure what she did to check it. It was a perfectly fine car so there shouldn't be any problems anyway. I did put in the appraisal forms that there was scuffs and scrapes on the car, but there were probably some more that I missed, but the delivery person didn't seem to care.

Registration
Now here's where my experience differs from a lot of other buyers on this sub, partially thanks to the painful and somewhat stupid registration laws in MA. Temporary registrations and tags are illegal in MA, and normally you have 7 days to transfer your existing registration to the new vehicle, but with the pandemic they extended the grace period to 21 days after purchase. In the meantime you can just hang your old plates on the new car. News came in delivery that the person told me they're having a 21-28 days delay with the RMV because the transactions are appointment based now, and they were only allowed a certain number of transactions per day with the Mass RMV. The car still came with a temp tag and registration from GA, but it's basically useless to me. This means after 21 days from delivery I would be driving the car without valid registration, but since I'm hanging my old plates, it wouldn't really be a serious problem unless I get pull over by the cops for speeding or something. Even then I can explain to them the delay and everything and the cops usually let it go. The delivery person also told me they only had 1 customer that got pulled over without the valid registration on time and that guy only got a ticket for speeding after explaining everything to the cop. I guess the good thing with that kind of law in MA is that Carvana will start your registration process soon after delivery, instead of waiting after your 7 day period to end (at least that's what the delivery person told me), and I was lucky enough to receive my registration only 15 days after delivery.

Vehicle Inspection
Now even though it's basically a new car with only 7k miles, I still wanted to get a CPO check from the dealership within the 7 day return period, just to make sure. A useful tip for this part is that try to make a service appointment earlier, before delivery, to make sure you have a time slot during the 7 day period, because it's really a 6 day period, and 1 day is Sunday with no dealership opened. I had to call literally every dealership around a 30 mile radius to finally find one with an open appointment slot, thankfully. So make those appointments early if you're bringing into a dealership, and you can always cancel it if your delivery got messed up and had to postpone. Again, thank god the mechanics didn't find any problems so it saved me the hassle to go through with Carvana and SilverRock.

Customer Service Experience
I've seen so many horrible customer service experiences on this sub so when I had to contact them about registration, I just called earlier and selected the call back option. The first call was at 5:45 pm, and I received the callback at 6:30, and another call was at 2:45 pm, and received the call back 2 hours later. So don't bother to stay on the line with the "your wait time is greater than 30 minutes" BS lol, just have them call you back if you can.

Anyways, I consider myself pretty lucky of coming out of the other side of this process in a relatively short period of time, and I hope my experience can be useful to any future buyers in the state of Massachusetts, because our experience can be really different to some of the others on here due to the fucked up laws and RMV lol.
As always, I have them referral codes so please DM me if you started the purchase process (you'll have to get a CS rep through website live chat or phone to apply the code for you along with some information about my purchase). I got one for my purchase from one of you angels on this sub and why would you say no to $500 off?
submitted by wolfyin7 to carvana [link] [comments]


2020.09.24 23:03 badpauly Significant Activist Hedge Fund Activity (Last 7 Days)

These are the latest Schedule 13D forms filed by activist investors in the last 7 days. Activist investors are investors that make an investment with the intention of influencing management in some way. There is evidence that following activist investors into investments can generate excess returns. Schedule 13G forms, in contrast, are filed by significant investors with no intention of influencing management (such as Index funds).
There is always a lot of interest in insider trades, but what a lot of people probably don't realize is that hedge fund activity is probably more predictive of future returns than insider activity. The reason is that hedge funds (a) have large research budgets, and (b) have a choice where to put their money. In contract, insiders have no choice where to put their money, but only when to time their transactions.

New Filings

This table lists new 13D filings in the last week. A new filing does not necessarily indicate a new position, as investors frequently accumulate in advance before reaching the filing threshold.
Date Form Company Investor Shares Ownership Change
09‑24 13D CVGI / Commercial Vehicle Group, Inc. OLMA CAPITAL MANAGEMENT Ltd 1,948,001 %
09‑23 13D ATIF / ATIF Holdings Limited Liu Jun 4,061,574 8.6%
09‑23 13D DESP / Despegar.com, Corp. LCLA Daylight LP 11,000,000 13.64%
09‑23 13D CBPO / China Biologic Products, Inc. Chow Joseph 111,509 0.3%
09‑22 13D CLRO / ClearOne, Inc. BAGLEY E BRYAN 1,580,814 8.4%
09‑22 13D AIH / Aesthetic Medical International Holdings Group Ltd. Peak Asia Investment Holdings V Ltd 15,576,960 22.0% 0.00
09‑21 13D STEP / StepStone Group Inc. Class A Brem Monte M 53,157,491 64.5%
09‑21 13D STEP / StepStone Group Inc. Class A Argonaut Private Equity, L.L.C. 6,495,358 18.2%
09‑21 13D WTRE / Watford Holdings Ltd. Enstar Group LTD 1,815,858 9.1%
09‑21 13D MIXT / MiX Telematics Limited Frew Robin A 87,267,766 14.52%
09‑21 13D SJ / Scienjoy Holding Corporation Cosmic Soar Ltd 5,409,598 18.87%
09‑18 13D MFA / MFA Financial, Inc. STARWOOD CAPITAL GROUP GLOBAL II, L.P. 38,021,670 8.39%
09‑18 13D CLRO / ClearOne, Inc. CLEARONE INC 1,580,814 8.4%
09‑18 13D MHH / Mastech Holdings, Inc. NAYAR ARUN 7.3%
09‑18 13D GSH / Grindrod Shipping Holdings Ltd Grindrod Ltd 1,841,962 9.7%
09‑18 13D HUD / Hudson Ltd. GAMCO INVESTORS, INC. ET AL 1,087,156 2.76%
09‑18 13D DTF / DTF Tax Free Income, Inc. Karpus Management, Inc. 2,055,412 24.12% -0.74
09‑18 13D VRTU / Virtusa Corp. Austin HoldCo Inc 4,907,925 14.7%
09‑18 13D AHT / Ashford Hospitality Trust Inc. Cygnus Capital, Inc. 1,012,231 7.8%
09‑17 13D EPSED / Epsilon Energy Ltd PARAGON ASSOCIATES & PARAGON ASSOCIATES II JOINT VENTURE 1,283,245 5.4%
09‑17 13D SPP / Sanchez Production Partners LLC SP Common Equity Subsidiary LLC 4,650,439 23.3%
09‑17 13D NHLD / National Holdings Corp. ASHER DANIEL 2,656,450 19.55% 0.00
09‑17 13D VCIF / Vertical Capital Income Fund Shares of Beneficial Interest Relative Value Partners Group, LLC 1,773,596 17.1% 27.80

Amended Filings

This table lists amended filings in the last week, and is useful for monitoring changes in existing investments or when a fund closes a position. I have eliminated all filings with less than a 5% change in ownership.
Date Form Company Investor Shares Ownership Change
09‑24 13D/A TMBR / Timber Pharmaceuticals, Inc. TardiMed Sciences LLC 5,437,517 45.2% -5.24
09‑24 13D/A BBI / Brickell Biotech, Inc. Palisade Concentrated Equity Partnership II, LP 1,073,374 3.86% -70.31
09‑24 13D/A FTK / Flotek Industries Inc. North Sound Trading, LP 6,600,000 9.3% 24.00
09‑23 13D/A XOMA / XOMA Corporation BIOTECHNOLOGY VALUE FUND L P 4,182,243 38.0% 90.10
09‑23 13D/A ETNB / 89bio, Inc. ORBIMED ADVISORS LLC 1,864,721 9.4% -21.01
09‑23 13D/A SREV / ServiceSource International, Inc. Edenbrook Capital, LLC 13,611,126 14.24% 15.77
09‑23 13D/A KNX / Knight Transportation, Inc. MOYES JERRY 9,034,826 5.3% -77.25
09‑23 13D/A DVD / Dover Motorsports, Inc. TIPPIE HENRY B 12,735,000 59.6% 39.25
09‑23 13D/A BFFTF / Biofrontera AG DEUTSCHE BALATON AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT 14,200,469 30.8% 6.94
09‑23 13D/A SBGLF / Sibanye Gold Ltd ADR GOLD ONE SOUTH AFRICA (PTY) LTD 217,483,523 8.13% -12.01
09‑23 13D/A SBBP / Strongbridge Biopharma plc CAXTON CORP 10,280,682 15.2% -12.64
09‑23 13D/A IMXI / International Money Express, Inc. Steamboat Capital Partners, LLC 2,396,676 6.3% -7.35
09‑22 13D/A BBW / Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. Philotimo Fund, LP 864,580 5.5% -42.71
09‑22 13D/A PLAY / Dave & Buster's Entertainment, Inc. KKR Credit Advisors (US) LLC 4,225,800 8.9% 50.85
09‑22 13D/A CLRO / ClearOne, Inc. BAGLEY EDWARD D 10,152,405 54.1%
09‑22 13D/A CLRO / ClearOne, Inc. HAKIMOGLU ZEYNEP 1,067,856 5.6% 19.15
09‑22 13D/A 11040G103 / Bristow Group Inc Solus Alternative Asset Management LP 5,389,526 17.8%
09‑22 13D/A PLAY / Dave & Buster's Entertainment, Inc. Hill Path Capital LP 4,448,542 9.3% 32.86
09‑22 13D/A EGI / Entree Gold Inc. RIO TINTO PLC 32,788,629 17.6%
09‑22 13D/A WHLR / Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc. STILWELL JOSEPH 1,286,609 13.1% 9.17
09‑22 13D/A AGTX / Agentix Corp. Winterhalter Michael 150,000 0.004% -99.93
09‑22 13D/A FLWS / 1-800-Flowers.com, Inc. MCCANN CHRISTOPHER G 22,062,176 38.2% -33.91
09‑22 13D/A SYNH / Syneos Health, Inc. ADVENT INTERNATIONAL CORP/MA 18,647,036 17.94% -17.14
09‑21 13D/A MRSN / Mersana Therapeutics, Inc. New Enterprise Associates 14, L.P. 5,963,114 8.7% -32.56
09‑21 13D/A FSLR / First Solar, Inc. Walton Lukas T 13,841,358 13.1% -40.37
09‑21 13D/A SYNH / Syneos Health, Inc. THOMAS H. LEE ADVISORS, LLC 16,010,301 15.4% -16.98
09‑21 13D/A ETNB / 89bio, Inc. RA CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, L.P. 4,736,214 23.8% 16.67
09‑21 13D/A MJCO / Majesco Majesco Ltd 0 0.0% -100.00
09‑21 13D/A KFS / Kingsway Financial Services Inc. STILWELL JOSEPH 6,375,904 28.0% 6.87
09‑21 13D/A DVA / DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC 36,095,570 31.7% 6.73
09‑21 13D/A IMUX / Immunic, Inc. Eckenstein-Geigy-Stiftung 440,000 2.94% -52.96
09‑21 13D/A BWG / BrandywineGLOBAL - Global Income Opportunities Fund, Inc. Bulldog Investors, LLC 915,400 %
09‑21 13D/A SONM / Sonim Technologies, Inc. 180 DEGREE CAPITAL CORP. /NY/ 9,395,229 %
09‑21 13D/A WUBA / 58.com Inc. Tencent Holdings Ltd 0 0.0% -100.00
09‑18 13D/A SOLO / Electrameccanica Vehicles Corp. Ltd. KROLL JERRY 11,474,196 17.18% -60.41
09‑18 13D/A CWGL / Crimson Wine Group Ltd. Cumming John D. 3,017,861 13.0%
09‑18 13D/A LUB / Luby's, Inc. PAPPAS CHRISTOPHER JAMES 5,667,153 18.43%
09‑18 13D/A TORC / resTORbio, Inc. ORBIMED ADVISORS LLC 5,513,015 28.1% 105.11
09‑18 13D/A CRSP / CRISPR Therapeutics AG Versant Venture Capital IV, L.P. 2,087,120 3.0% -30.23
09‑18 13D/A MTEM / Molecular Templates, Inc. SANTE HEALTH VENTURES I LP 7,091,100 15.5% -9.88
09‑18 13D/A MHH / Mastech Holdings, Inc. WADHWANI SUNIL 2,548,314 22.4% -40.90
09‑18 13D/A IMVT / Immunovant, Inc. Roivant Sciences Ltd. 56,377,388 57.6% 6.27
09‑18 13D/A RGNX / REGENXBIO Inc. Fox Allan M. 3,120,235 8.3%
09‑18 13D/A CLRO / ClearOne, Inc. CLEARONE INC 1,067,856 5.6%
09‑18 13D/A WUBA / 58.com Inc. GENERAL ATLANTIC LLC 0 0.0% -100.00
09‑18 13D/A PSV / Hermitage Offshore Services Ltd. Scorpio Services Holding Ltd 1,011,096 3.2%
09‑18 13D/A WUBA / 58.com Inc. Yao Jinbo 0 0.0% -100.00
09‑18 13D/A GARS / Garrison Capital Inc. STILWELL JOSEPH 244,274 8.2% 18.84
09‑18 13D/A FORTY / Formula Systems (1985) Ltd. ASSECO POLAND S.A. 5,733,574 37.5% -5.54
09‑18 13D/A FORTY / Formula Systems (1985) Ltd. Bernstein Guy 1,817,973 11.9% -11.19
09‑18 13D/A EDSA / Edesa Biotech, Inc. Edesa Biotech, Inc. 3,317,207 34.4%
09‑17 13D/A L / Loews Corp. TISCH JAMES S 16,829,404 6.1% 19.61
09‑17 13D/A REPL / Replimune Group, Inc. Atlas Venture Fund X, L.P. 2,524,866 6.3% -16.00
09‑17 13D/A PIH / 1347 Property Insurance Holdings, Inc. Hale Partnership Capital Management, LLC 0 0.0% -100.00
09‑17 13D/A GDL / GDL Fund, The GAMCO INVESTORS, INC. ET AL 2,573,150 17.86% 10.18
09‑17 13D/A FLGT / Fulgent Genetics, Inc. Gao Hanlin 803,379 3.6% -62.50
09‑17 13D/A MCS / Marcus Corporation (THE) GAMCO INVESTORS, INC. ET AL 713,650 3.08% -9.41
09‑17 13D/A REPCF / RepliCel Life Sciences Inc. Schutte Andrew 4,627,351 13.51%
09‑17 13D/A TTSH / Tile Shop Holdings, Inc. B. Riley Financial, Inc. 3,538,103 6.8% 21.43
09‑17 13D/A TLGT / Teligent, Inc. LIFE SCIENCES OPPORTUNITIES FUND II LP 153,490 2.83% -85.03
Source: Fintel.io/activists
submitted by badpauly to StockMarket [link] [comments]


2020.09.24 19:16 isRelative SFF Watercooled Build

What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.
What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?
When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.
What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc)
Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?
If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.
Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?
Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)
Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?
Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference?
Extra info or particulars:
submitted by isRelative to buildapcforme [link] [comments]


2020.09.24 06:07 AutoModerator DAILY COVID-19 MEGATHREAD - September 24, 2020

All Coronavirus (COVID-19) links, discussions and related pics belong in this thread.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in NYC, please visit: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home
Questions? Call the COVID-19 Hotline: 1-888-364-3065 or Ask a Question here
If you are witnessing price gouging on items like cleaning supplies, toilet paper or soap, please call the New York State Department of Consumer Protection. They have launched a toll-free hotline 1-800-697-1220 and will investigate reports of unfair price increases amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. You can also file a complaint online at https://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/form/ComplaintForm1.asp
To report a scam or other consumer problem related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please click here.
Essential services that are allowed to remain open: Click here
For more information about COVID-19 and country-specific travel restrictions, please visit the CDC website.
The New York Blood Center Enterprises (NYBCe) strongly urges individuals who feel healthy and well to make an appointment at a donor center or blood drive to give blood, platelets and plasma. Walk-ins are also welcome. For more information, visit: https://nybloodcenter.org/donate-blood/covid-19-and-blood-donation-copy/
If you have a suggestion on how to improve this Daily Megathread, please send the team a message.
To see COVID-19 Megathread Discussions from previous days, please click here.
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2020.09.23 06:08 AutoModerator DAILY COVID-19 MEGATHREAD - September 23, 2020

All Coronavirus (COVID-19) links, discussions and related pics belong in this thread.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in NYC, please visit: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home
Questions? Call the COVID-19 Hotline: 1-888-364-3065 or Ask a Question here
If you are witnessing price gouging on items like cleaning supplies, toilet paper or soap, please call the New York State Department of Consumer Protection. They have launched a toll-free hotline 1-800-697-1220 and will investigate reports of unfair price increases amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. You can also file a complaint online at https://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/form/ComplaintForm1.asp
To report a scam or other consumer problem related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please click here.
Essential services that are allowed to remain open: Click here
For more information about COVID-19 and country-specific travel restrictions, please visit the CDC website.
The New York Blood Center Enterprises (NYBCe) strongly urges individuals who feel healthy and well to make an appointment at a donor center or blood drive to give blood, platelets and plasma. Walk-ins are also welcome. For more information, visit: https://nybloodcenter.org/donate-blood/covid-19-and-blood-donation-copy/
If you have a suggestion on how to improve this Daily Megathread, please send the team a message.
To see COVID-19 Megathread Discussions from previous days, please click here.
submitted by AutoModerator to nyc [link] [comments]


2020.09.22 06:07 AutoModerator DAILY COVID-19 MEGATHREAD - September 22, 2020

All Coronavirus (COVID-19) links, discussions and related pics belong in this thread.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in NYC, please visit: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home
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If you are witnessing price gouging on items like cleaning supplies, toilet paper or soap, please call the New York State Department of Consumer Protection. They have launched a toll-free hotline 1-800-697-1220 and will investigate reports of unfair price increases amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. You can also file a complaint online at https://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/form/ComplaintForm1.asp
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2020.09.21 17:02 Visual_Captain_9137 NY Diploma Privilege - Sept. 21

For better or worse, we are in the final stretch! Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of problems that haven't been resolved. A Reditor reported last Friday that a staffer from Stewart-Cousin’s office said that they are going back into session sometime before the end of the month, but she does not know the exact date. I don't know if that will actually happen as things do change quickly but that would be a big deal since we only need 18 more Assembly Members to support the bill.
When you call, please remember to mention that we have a majority in the Senate according to our unofficial count.
Notable people to Contact
  1. Andrea Stewart-Cousins (518-455-2585) - ask her to support the bill and get it to a vote. - You can call as a non-constituent.
  2. Carl E. Heastie (518-455-3791) - ask for him to support the bill and get it to a vote. You can call as a non-constituent.
  3. Jeffrey Dinowitz (718-796-5345) - Only call here if you are a constituent. Ask your Bronx friends to call.
  4. Fax Gov. Cuomo (518-474-1513). To send a free fax, use this service. Fax script here.
Find your Assembly Member here DP4NY’s script here.
Where the bill stands:
To get to a vote, it needs to go through committee. For that to happen, we need:
Note: The numbers are for the new bill only. They include official cosponsors and people who were reported to be supportive for the new bill (can see source on the tracker).
Full breakdown here. You can see the numbers and emails of everyone who isn't supportive on the Targeted Outreach page.
Shoutout to u/comfortable__silence for making a post over the weekend and making an extensive summary of all the issues
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2020.09.21 06:09 AutoModerator DAILY COVID-19 MEGATHREAD - September 21, 2020

All Coronavirus (COVID-19) links, discussions and related pics belong in this thread.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in NYC, please visit: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home
Questions? Call the COVID-19 Hotline: 1-888-364-3065 or Ask a Question here
If you are witnessing price gouging on items like cleaning supplies, toilet paper or soap, please call the New York State Department of Consumer Protection. They have launched a toll-free hotline 1-800-697-1220 and will investigate reports of unfair price increases amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. You can also file a complaint online at https://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/form/ComplaintForm1.asp
To report a scam or other consumer problem related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please click here.
Essential services that are allowed to remain open: Click here
For more information about COVID-19 and country-specific travel restrictions, please visit the CDC website.
The New York Blood Center Enterprises (NYBCe) strongly urges individuals who feel healthy and well to make an appointment at a donor center or blood drive to give blood, platelets and plasma. Walk-ins are also welcome. For more information, visit: https://nybloodcenter.org/donate-blood/covid-19-and-blood-donation-copy/
If you have a suggestion on how to improve this Daily Megathread, please send the team a message.
To see COVID-19 Megathread Discussions from previous days, please click here.
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2020.09.20 06:08 AutoModerator DAILY COVID-19 MEGATHREAD - September 20, 2020

All Coronavirus (COVID-19) links, discussions and related pics belong in this thread.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in NYC, please visit: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home
Questions? Call the COVID-19 Hotline: 1-888-364-3065 or Ask a Question here
If you are witnessing price gouging on items like cleaning supplies, toilet paper or soap, please call the New York State Department of Consumer Protection. They have launched a toll-free hotline 1-800-697-1220 and will investigate reports of unfair price increases amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. You can also file a complaint online at https://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/form/ComplaintForm1.asp
To report a scam or other consumer problem related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please click here.
Essential services that are allowed to remain open: Click here
For more information about COVID-19 and country-specific travel restrictions, please visit the CDC website.
The New York Blood Center Enterprises (NYBCe) strongly urges individuals who feel healthy and well to make an appointment at a donor center or blood drive to give blood, platelets and plasma. Walk-ins are also welcome. For more information, visit: https://nybloodcenter.org/donate-blood/covid-19-and-blood-donation-copy/
If you have a suggestion on how to improve this Daily Megathread, please send the team a message.
To see COVID-19 Megathread Discussions from previous days, please click here.
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2020.09.19 17:52 creatinsanivity Let's talk a Finnish icon: The Ismo Alanko primer

I was challenged into writing a primer on one of Finland's primary songwriters of all time by u/Zhanteimi at the LetsTalkMusic discord. So here's an album-by-album runthrough of his career!
Context
No artist's career begins with the first album, so naturally nor did Alanko's. Long story short, he was born in a highly artistic family (mother a poet, all siblings musicians), picked cello as his instrument of choice, found rock (especially the Hurriganes debut) and picked a guitar, wrote his first song 'Suck and Fuck All Night Long' (no recordings of this exist, but apparently one of his bands named itself after the song), and formed a number of bands with varying levels of success. His most succesful pre-Hassisen Kone band was a prog band called Sight, which got on the second place in the prog section of Finnish Rock Championship competition (in 1977 or 1978). After he finished high school in the spring of 1979, he moved to Stockholm for the summer. This turned out to be the decision that became the catalyst for huge parts of his career, including...
Hassisen Kone - Täältä tullaan Venäjä
While in Stockholm, Alanko caught wind of a new wave of rock beginning in Finland. A breath of fresh air in the previously stale rock scene. He returned to Joensuu and put together a band from his bandmates from Sight (Reijo Heiskanen and Harri Kinnunen), and Harri's then 17-year-old brother Jussi. They eventually named the band Hassisen Kone, after a sewing machine store in town (the deeply religious shopkeeper was not amused).
The band recorded an album-length demo in 1979 and were signed on a label relatively quickly. They were also qualified to enter the 1980 Finnish Rock Championship competition (even though the judges nearly disqualified them, for they thought they might be professional musicians performing under fake names), which they won, gaining reputation preceding the recording of their debut album.
In August of 1980, the band released Täältä tullaan Venäjä. Propelled by arguably the biggest hit single in Alanko's career, Rappiolla [which was hilariously covered by Metallica recently (which was spontaneously responded to by Ismo Alanko himself)], the album became a smash hit. The album provides variety from straight-up new wave punk to talkingheadsian grooves, schlager punk, simplified swing jazz, ska-infused rock, to whatever you'd categorise 'Viimeinen rock ennen aivokuolemaa' as. It's an ambitious yet consistent whole but, in my opinion, the weakest of the three Hassisen Kone albums. The youthful anarchic feel it has can be refreshing every now and then, but this burst of energy from an obviously young (only two of the bandmembers even in their 20s, band only half a year old) band is redirected better on the follow-up.
Hassisen Kone - Rumat sävelet
Following the release of their debut, the band found themselves in a position that many acts today would both fear and envy: they played hundreds of gigs in the second half of 1980 and the first half of 1981. The gruesome touring around the country took a toll on the young band, but that's only barely comparable to the toll that the audience took on them. For example, as time went by, the band grew tired of the audience drunkenly demanding 'Rappiolla', so they stopped playing the song altogether. This time of maturing and growing more and more cynical reflected on their sophomore effort.
Rumat sävelet should not necessarily be described as bleak per se, but it is certainly darker, tighter, and more mature than the band's debut. The band tackles sounds ranging from quasi-prog expression to post-punk, punk, psychobilly, and they take the talkingheadsian qualities into a sharper direction. The lyrics touch upon issues like love, exploitation, and sex (it's curious to think that probably the most explicit Finnish song about sex before this album was about "curly armpit hair", while Alanko dares to sing about penetration itself). I have to admit that I have a bit of a bias when it comes to this one though, as it's undoubtedly my favourite album of all time.
Hassisen Kone - Harsoinen teräs (and High Tension Wire)
In 1981, the band participated on a riverboat tour with a couple of other punk acts. During this tour, the bassist broke (drugs), Alanko met "Safka" Pekkonen, and the band was generally put under huge stress as the diet consisting mainly of alcohol began burning them down and their every move was documented by either film makers Mika and Aki Kaurismäki or the columnist documenting the tour for a zine. Despite all this, some of the better live recordings of the band come from this tour, and both the live album and the Kaurismäki documentary are worth digging up for the music.
After the tour, the band expanded into a septet with the addition of a keyboardist (Pekkonen), a saxophonist (Antti Seppo), and a percussionist (Hannu Porkka). The final form of the band was shaped during the rehearsals by the departure of guitarist Heiskanen, who was replaced by the guitar wizard Jukka Orma.
Released in March of 1982, Harsoinen teräs is the band's most artistically ambitious work. It's an album combining the band's prog leanings seamlessly with the band's new wave leanings, a polished whole that takes cues from I don't even know where. Reggae at least on a couple of tracks, prog and new wave on most, but the general sound is unlike anything I've ever encountered. The album was re-recorded in English as High Tension Wire later on in the year, after a tour had slightly tightened the band's sound. The decision to do so apparently came after the decision to disband the band, which makes it a very baffling addition to Hassisen Kone's discography. You'd think that they'd release an album in English as an attempt to break into international markets, right?
Sielun Veljet - Sielun Veljet
After Hassisen Kone was disbanded (in August 1982), Alanko had a schlager rock project that eventually turned into Sielun Veljet by December. The band was comprised of Alanko, Orma, a drummer veteran Alf Forsman, Alanko's Stockholm contact Jouko Hohko on bass, Vinski Viholainen doing lighting, and a future cult legend Jouni Mömmö doing "weird noises".
Sielun Veljet were signed in early 1983, but they refused to record a studio album because Viholainen's lighting work wouldn't show in a studio recording. Instead, as a compromise, they agreed on recording a live album where "the lighting would affect the ambiance". They set out to do this on a tour they began on March, planning on recording the first show and the last one. However, fate interfered and Orma accidentally cut tendons from his fingers during the tour while cutting bread, which made the recordings from the last show basically unusable due to his difficulties in adjusting to the situation (a very punk move to finish the tour even with torn tendons, by the way).
The live album is punk/post-punk goodness. It's noisy, no-wavey rock that really shows how the band took all the drugs in the process of writing these harsh, repetitive songs. It also shows that Alanko wished to abandon messing around with intricate compositions in favour of a more stripped and primal expression.
Sielun Veljet - Lapset
In summer of 1983, the band brightened up a bit to record this odd EP in a style following directly from the debut. It's angular and distorted, yet the melodies are more melodic and jamming less bleak. It's also the home of the only a capella punk song I've ever heard.
Sielun Veljet - Hei soturit
In 1984, Sielun Veljet took their first coherent step toward a pop/rock idiom with their first studio album. Hei soturit is the awkward outlier between the band's grimy punk era and commercial rock era. It feels like a punk band working with a producer who doesn't understand punk, but even the clumsy production doesn't entirely hide the fact that some of these songs are absolutely iconic. From punk to garage rock, general oddness, and flirting even with metal, this selection of songs does provide good variety for anyone digging deeper in Alanko's body of work.
Sielun Veljet - L'amourha
The Sielun Veljet breakthrough album! The beginning of their rock era of albums, an only mildly angular affair with anthemic choruses and a muscular production. It was recorded after the band had toured all over Europe, honing their sound and Alanko finding a lot to say about international affairs and the human condition.
There are a plenty of anecdotes from the time of release of this album. The song 'On mulla unelma' was written by Alanko in Spain, when he was recovering from a disease (can't remember which one. Dysentery?) and bitter about nationalism, and it caused quite a scandal when the band unexpectedly debuted it on live television. They performed an impromptu Red Riding Hood play on their album release party instead of playing music. One of the members went missing in Russia for days after the band found a corpse. All of their instruments were stolen in Spain. There'd a lot to unpack from 1984-5 alone.
Sielun Veljet - Kuka teki huorin
The follow-up to L'amourha takes the band to a funkier place. It's a minor downgrade from the previous effort, a slightly directionless and overpolished effort that has diverse variety from RHCP-like funk rock to tango-infused rock, tribal chants, and what's essentially watered down imitation of their earlier work. It's an easy album to criticise, yet I don't find ever to be outright bad. A lot of it is extremely forgettable though
L'amourder - Ritual and Shit-Hot
Sielun Veljet recorded a bunch of their songs in English as L'amourder. Most of them follow the originals very closely, but there are a few surprises. The biggest change is on the translation of 'Tuulelta vastauksen saan', which has been turned into a cover of Bob Dylan's 'Blowin' in the Wind'.
Sielun Veljet - Suomi - Finland
Suomi - Finland begins the last era of the band, as this album brings more acoustic instruments to the mix and begins to flirt with psychedelia in a way that will culminate on the follow-up. It feels like a breaking point for the band, as it sprawls on multiple directions at once, the musicians seemingly having lost focus. It feels like a band slowly drifring apart, yet it remains consistently captivating as the different influences come together in this chaotic work.
"Various Artists" - Onnenpyörä
Sielun Veljet performed under a number of false identities on their Onnenpyörä-tour, four of which make an appearance on this recording. All of these are cover bands of sorts, and each one of them had a different repertoire of songs they played on these wildly differing sets. The most noteworthy of these personae are the pavillion dance band Kullervo Kivi ja Gehenna-yhtye and the rock band Leputation of the Slaves, the two having the most songs on the record.
Sielun Veljet - Softwood Music Under Slow Pillars
Who would have thought that the noisy punk band in 1983 would eventually release what could be called a psychedelic flamenco album in 1989? Many factors come together here, as the band continues on their effort to sell their music internationally by making the biggest left turn in memory. Orma's fascination with flamenco combines here with influences Alanko picked up in India and what could be called a somewhat logical progression from the budding psychedelia of Suomi - Finland. It's a weird album, that's for sure. A bit inconsistent, but easily among the strangest albums I've ever heard.
Ismo Alanko - Kun Suomi putos puusta
In 1990, Alanko found himself in a situation where Sielun Veljet had almost run its course and he could finally start building a solo career. He recorded this solo debut as a quasi-concept album about rural flight, combining the various interest he wasn't able to pursue with the band into a unique singesongwriter album of sorts. It's a classic album and, in some ways, an ideal entry point into Alanko's work as it feels like it's his personal expression in its purest form.
The music on the album sounds mainly like pop rock of sorts, but it also takes cues from melancholic singesongwriter stuff, joyous showtunes, post-punk akin to Nick Cave's work, and some field recording experiments. It finds a good balance between artistic ambition and catchiness, and it's home to some of the most iconic tracks in Ismo Alanko songbook.
Sielun Veljet - Musta laatikko
Do you know Tom Waits' Orphans? This one is kind of like that. Three discs filled with random stuff recorded over years.
The first disc, "Muistinmenetys", is one third a new studio album (very weird new direction to take, something that feels like a cross between chill hippie jamming and 80s dance pop), one third music from some production, and one third short excerpts from live performances. The second disc, "Taudinkuva", is mainly live performances of late 80s Sielun Veljet songs, Tuomari Nurmio covers, and some other oddities. And finally, the third disc, "Isältä pojalle", is a full pavillion dance set, the band LARPing as a suave and jazzy house band playing waltz, tango, schlager, and anything that's really expected of them.
This album is definitely a skippable one, but there are a few gems that an Ismo Alanko fan might get a lot out of. The flamenco pieces are cool, the Tuomari Nurmio covers are nice (more about those later), and that pavillion dance set is unexpectedly fun, especially if you're not already familiar with the tradition.
Ismo Alanko - Jäätyneitä lauluja
Alanko goes electronic! This album was originally lauded as cutting edge and a sign of significant artistic growth, but it has definitely fallen in popularity over the years. It sounds extremely like a product of its time, so if you like non-industrial synthpop-y rock from 90s, this is exactly your thing. Overall, it's still very surprising how many Alanko live staples come from this album though, and how some of his live bands have improved on all of them.
Ismo Alanko - Taiteilijaelämää
If someone doesn't think that Kun Suomi putos puusta is Alanko's magnum opus, they usually pick this one. Taiteilijaelämää feels like a combination of the first two solo albums (acoustic, electric, and electronic joining hands in harmony), but brought into the mid-90s rock idiom. The result is an interesting album that lacks real highs but remains consistently accessible, and the one Ismo Alanko work I've heard to have resonated with Beck fans for some reason.
Ismo Alanko - I-r-t-i
I made the mistake of learning that this album was written in only two weeks (because Alanko wanted to test himself), and now that's all I can think of while listening to it. This does feel halfbaked. The accessible rock sound it has is underproduced and covers up lazy songwriting more than once. That said, Alanko has later on proven that some of these songs can be absolutely amazing live, and the demo-like quality many of these tracks have can be seen as a feature instead of a bug. Pushing its flaws aside, I feel that it is underappreciated as an album, and feel like its high points deserve more attention.
Ismo Alanko Säätiö - Pulu
Säätiö was an interesting group. I'm honestly still a bit unclear whether they should be considered Alanko's backing band, a band that just happened to capitalise on his name, or a fullblown collective of musicians. Alanko's statements concerning the group together with the changing lineups on Säätiö albums both point to all three options. What I do know is that the band has two distinct eras, the first one kickstarted by Pulu.
I genuinely believe that the first iterarion of Säätiö is the most important band Alanko worked with. The amount of pure talent in that band is staggering with Jussi Kinnunen (Hassisen Kone) on bass, Teho Majamäki (HC Andersen, Tapani Rinne, Ismo Alanko Teholla) on percussion, Kimmo Pohjonen (you will want to check his solo stuff) on accordion, and Marko Timonen (Värttinä, Tuomari Nurmio) on drums giving Alanko's songwriting a fascinating folk rock spin, reeking of schlager and eastern mysticism. Pulu is an album that seeps nostalgia, is radical enough to upset traditional folk nerds, is accessible enough to have produced multiple Alanko live staples, and is significant enough a twist on Alanko's tropes to sound fresh even in his eclectic body of work. Yet, I feel like it's so self-referential that I feel like recommending it as anyone's first Ismo Alanko album could be a mistake.
Ismo Alanko Säätiö - Luonnossa
Säätiö playing acoustic renditions from the entire Ismo Alanko songbook, from Täältä tullaan Venäjä to Pulu. An exciting set, and definitely one of the best live albums I've ever heard. The band reworks this wide variety of songs into captivating folk rock, transforming the music into forms that defy expectations. There are some duds though, but not all fan favourites can sound great with just one band.
Ismo Alanko Säätiö - Sisäinen solarium
This is possibly the weirdest Ismo Alanko album to this date. It continues with nearly the same lineup as on Pulu, but takes the music in a radically new direction, exploring what modernised folk could be rather than wallowing on nostalgia. This means updating the largely acoustic instrumentation with both electric and electronic instruments, and creating an unpredictable tapestry of music with influences that are surprisingly difficult to pinpoint. Some say this kind of experimentation cheapens traditional folk (which is something I can agree with regarding some songs on this album), but I'm not sure if such a clearcut statement can be made of the full album. It's certainly aiming for a sound of its own.
Ismo Alanko Säätiö - Hallanvaara
This is where Säätiö's status as a band becomes complicated. There's absolutely no reason to call this anything but an Ismo Alanko solo album, so marketing it as an Ismo Alanko Säätiö album is baffling to say the least. I mean, the only constants on this album are Alanko himself, the producemulti-instrumentalist Riku Mattila, and various symphonic elements (I don't want to downplay the work the symphonic orchestra and the string section do on this album, but they have been used quite haphazardly). There are three members from the previous Säätiö albums involved in this project: Marko Timonen on nine tracks, Samuli Laiho on seven tracks, and Kimmo Pohjonen on one track. In addition to this, there's the bassist of the next iteration of Säätiö, Jarno Karjalainen, on six tracks. Thus, there are Säätiö band members playing on the majority of these tracks, but never as a full band.
That all being said, I believe this to be the best Säätiö album. The melancholic pieces are beautifully fragile, the pop tracks are catchy, the massive songs are massive, and the atmospheric pieces are chillingly well-arranged. And even the weaker songs here are excellent live, making this album probably the richest one to mine for a live set of any kind.
Ismo Alanko Säätiö - Elävää musiikkia
Honestly, this feels like a bit of a throwaway live album. On one hand, these rock renditions of a great setlist of songs are unique but, on the other hand, none of these performances improve on the studio recordings. 'Kansallispäivä' and 'Julkinen eläin' come really close though, both being sharper and meaner than the 80s versions.
Ismo Alanko Säätiö - Minä ja pojat
The first album with the second iteration of the band. Fuzzy rock in similar vein to Smashing Pumpkins and their kin, but played through the lense of Alanko's style of songwriting. It's never as hard-hitting or catchy as an album by a great rock band would be -- all of the songs soften up during the chorus -- but the youthful and slightly naivistic touch is welcome after a string of artistically ambitious albums. That said, I'm only attached to a single song on the whole album, which is definitely not a good sign.
Ismo Alanko Säätiö - Ruuhkainen taivas
The second (and last) studio album of the second iteration of Säätiö is a different beast than the first one, taking the rock approach to a slightly more complex direction. It's more mature and chromatic than the first album, yet I personally find it to sound slightly less inspired. However, at the same time, it does have more tracks that I would consider keepers and the general sound is harder to define. Thus, it's definitely a divisive album, conflicting.
I'm not sure how to describe the sound of this album. It's unmistakeably early 2000s rock, sounding like an average Finnish rock band from the era, yet the songwriting and the production also remind me of the band Wire out of all things. It's a digestible alternative/indie rock sound, whenever it doesn't abruptly go in a new direction.
Sielun Veljet - Otteita Tuomari Nurmion laulukirjasta
Remember those random Tuomari Nurmio covers on Musta Laatikko? Turns out, Sielun Veljet recorded a full album of those in (I assume) late 80s. They didn't end up using those recordings for anything, so they were packed away and stored somewhere. Years went by and a good portion of those recordings were destroyed due to poor storing conditions, but someone was eventually inspired to put the surviving songs to good use.
You'll be in for a treat, if you like Sielun Veljet and have never heard anything by Tuomari Nurmio. Most of these covers are originally from Nurmio's early 80s albums, his strange new wave turned into the angular rock Sielun Veljet perfected. Some of these songs only barely work, some sound like Sielun Veljet originals, but most are just serviceable covers. It's still a good album though.
Ismo Alanko Teholla - Blanco spirituals
After putting Säätiö on hold (perhaps indefinitely), Alanko joined forces with Teho Majamäki, the first iteration Säätiö percussionist. Together they stripped down a number of Ismo Alanko songbook staples to a form they could perform as a duo, essentially bringing the strengths of Alanko's live performances alone together with the strengths of him performing with a small ensemble. This endeavour proved succesful, so the two recorded two albums of original music as well.
The music of Blanco spirituals is surprisingly full. The two musicians fill space well, with Alanko singing and playing chord instruments (mainly guitar and piano), while Majamäki stretches himself as thin as possible, working a drumset, vibes, an array of percussions, an oscillating delay pedal, and singing backing vocals. It's usually at least two of those at the same time, often three. Him working in a live environment is a sight to behold.
This is honestly one of my favourite Ismo Alanko albums. The stripped down arrangements bring the most out of Alanko's songwriting. The selection of songs highlight very different sides of his style, from theatrical piano ballads to singalong acoustic guitar romps, silly pop songs, and trance-inducing rock. It's by no means a perfect album, but these simple songs all work in one way or another.
Sielun Veljet - Kansan parissa (1-4)
Archival live recordings of sets recorded around 1989-1991. The first one is a typical Sielun Veljet set, the second one filled with Tuomari Nurmio covers, the third one is material from Softwood Music Under Slow Pillars, and the fourth one is a mix of subtle experimentation, new tracks, and deep cuts. Quite a comprehensive collection of live music. However, only few tracks are really worth keeping, including the electrifying high-tempo performance of 'Lammassusi' and the prototypical version of Alanko's 'Don Quiote'.
Ismo Alanko Teholla - Onnellisuus
The simplicity of the previous album is gone, replaced by a polished and highly produced pop sound. The DIY duo sound gives way to a more layered style, where synths, samples, and doubled vocals are added to the band's sound. Acoustic instruments are largely replaced by electric guitars and synths, turning the folksy garage band sound to a sleak and radio-friendly beast. If the fact that I just phrased the same exact thing in three ways didn't clue you in yet, I'm not particularly fond of this change of direction. However, I've seen this ridiculously often called the best Ismo Alanko album since the 90s, so it does appeal to the masses.
If you like 2010s pop and are looking for a decent gateway to Alanko's music, this could be the album to start with. It's accessible.
Hassisen Kone - 20 vuotta myöhemmin
Hassisen Kone had a reunion in 2000. They played a show that was both filmed and recorded. It's an interesting document of musicians playing music they wrote 20 years earlier. However, it ultimately sounds a bit tired compared to both the tight playing on their studio recordings and the energy levels on their 80s live recordings.
Ismo Alanko - Maailmanlopun sushibaari
Remember when I said that most pick between Kun Suomi putos puusta and Taiteilijaelämää as Alanko's magnum opus? Well, this is that one for me. I'm not saying that to imply that it would be his best album, but it's the album where he finally brings his disparate influences together in a coherent but eclectic way. If Kun Suomi putos puusta is where Alanko's artistic voice is at its purest, this is where it is at its maturest and most representative of the multi-faceted artist he has become during his career.
More or less incidentally, this is also Alanko's midlife crisis album. It's not entirely thematic -- who even knows what 'Kuusilmä' is about? -- but it does touch upon themes like growing old, dying, passing the torch, losing one's touch, and liking the colour grey. It's not quite on the nose, but you don't exactly have to dissect the lyrics to find those undercurrents.
So what does the album sound like? It's lighter than you'd imagine based on the central themes. There's rock, funk, subtle latin feel, a capella, pop, traditional folk, and even an ambitious rock opera about what sounds like a zombie apocalypse. It's fairly eclectic, making it a nice first solo album to release in nearly two decades.
Ismo Alanko - 33 1/3: Kolmannesvuosisata taiteilijaelämää
This is the Ismo Alanko live album I recommend people to start with. Are these performances as exciting as their studio versions? No. But I'd argue that they don't have to be. The main strength this recording has is its uniformity. The songs are played in a generic rock band style, but it doesn't change the fact that the setlist is good and diverse. There's no compilation that would dive this deep in such a digestible manner. Essentially, this is the middle-of-the-road pick that gives an excellent cursory look into a prolific artist's entire body of work (up until 2013).
Ismo Alanko - Ismo Kullervo Alanko
Considering how introspective and self-reflective the previous album is, it's surprising that Alanko decided to name this one after himself. It works though. The songs are produced sparser and airier than on any other Ismo Alanko album, making the music feel intimate and almost confessional. It feels like you're sitting in the same room with him, as he opens up to you. Amazingly produced album.
Ismo Alanko - Pannaanko pakasteet pieneen pussiin?
To be frank, I don't think this EP is an essential release. It's noteworthy for the modern hobo blues feel it has, and for having one of the very few covers Alanko has recorded so far, but none of these songs have an iconic feel to them. The best I can say about it is that none of the songs are bad, but neither are they memorable.
Ismo Alanko - Yksin Vanhalla
I wish more band-focused artists performed live alone every now and then. An arrangement stripped down to just vocals and an instrument (in Alanko's case, usually acoustic guitar, piano, or cello) turns every song into something entirely different. However, the lyrics grow in significance as instruments are dropped, so your mileage may vary with this one. I still enjoy it though.
Pohjonen Alanko - Northern Lowland
Alanko collaborates with Kimmo Pohjonen and Tuomas Norvio to bring us an electronic neon-shamanic album. Primal chants and vocalisations blending together with beats ranging from harsh to chill and breakbeat-y. It's a fascinating EP, even if highly gimmicky and lacking a sense of direction. Besides, this stuff will always be better live than on a studio recording.
Ismo Alanko - Minä halusin olla niin kuin Beethoven
And finally, the latest Ismo Alanko album, where he takes yet another left turn. This one was mainly recorded by Alanko alone in a studio, but eventually a drummer and a keyboardist were brought in to round up the sound. And what a sound it is! Youthful indie rock with a production that's stuck somewhere between the 00s and the 80s. If it were not for 58-year-old Alanko's vocals and eccentric riffing, I could very well believe this to be a debut album by ambitious 20-somethings.
Summary
Since Alanko's full albums are not readily available on many countries (especially the US), I'll provide a summary that's somewhere between a longish TL;DR, a series of recommendations, and a quick-glance overview of his career.
Album:: Täältä tullaan Venäjä (1980) [new wave punk] Representative track: Rock ehkäisyvälineitä vastaan (a bouncy high-tempo punk track)
Album: Rumat sävelet (1981) [new wave/post-punk] Representative track: Jurot nuorisojulkkikset (a gloomy post-punk-infused rock track)
Album: Harsoinen teräs (1982) [new wave/progressive rock] Representative track: Kupla kimaltaa (a well-flowing new wave track with a progressive song structure)
Album: Sielun Veljet (1983) [punk/post-punk] Representative track: Pieni pää (a noisy punk track with groovy tribal drumming and metallic guitar playing)
Album: Lapset (1983) [punk/post-punk] Representative track: Elintaso (an angular punk track)
Album: Hei soturit (1984) [post-punk/alternative rock] Representative track: Tää on tää (a straightforward punk track with a catchy hook)
Album: L'amourha (1985) [post-punk/hard rock] Representative track: Peltirumpu (a hard-hitting rock song with dissonant guitars)
Album: Kuka teki huorin (1986) [post-punk/funk rock] Representative track: Kristallilapsia (a funk rock track with screechy guitars and an unfunky bassline)
Album: Suomi - Finland (1988) [post-punk/psychedelic rock] Representative track: Totuus vai tequila (a ferocious folk punk track)
Album: Softwood Music Under Slow Pillars (1989) [psychedelic rock/flamenco] Representative track: Life is a Cobra (a psychedelic track combining flamenco rhythms and Indian string sections)
Album: Kun Suomi putos puusta (1990) [singesongwriter] Representative track: Kun Suomi putos puusta (a gentle organ-led track with subtle folk influence and field recordings)
Album: Jäätyneitä lauluja (1993) [electronic rock] Representative track: Pornografiaa (a slightly industrial-tinged electronic rock track)
Album: Taiteilijaelämää (1995) [art rock] Representative track: Nuorena syntynyt (a 90s sounding rock track with a freeform looseness to it)
Album: I-r-t-i (1996) [alternative rock] Representative track: Kriisistä kriisiin (a rock track with a steady dance pulse on the actual rock sections)
Album: Pulu (1998) [folk rock/art rock] Representative track: Rakkaus on ruma sana (a track with pseudo-shamanistic verses and catchy choruses)
Album: Sisäinen solarium (2000) (art pop/folk rock) Representative track: Kirskainen hyvätyinen (a largely electronic and pulsing track that feels one part a strange rock experiment and one part a traditional Finnish folk song)
Album: Hallanvaara (2002) (art pop/symphonic rock) Representative track: Paratiisin puu (a smooth pop track with significant classical influence)
Album: Minä ja pojat (2004) [alternative rock] Representative track: Joensuu (a straightforward and fuzzy rock song)
Album: Ruuhkainen taivas (2006) [alternative rock) Representative track: Paskiainen (a rock track alternating between manic psychobilly and catchy radio rock)
Album: Blanco spirituals (2008) [minimalistic art pop] Representative track: Päästänkö irti (an acoustic rock track with an interesting chord sequence)
Album: Onnellisuus (2010) [art pop] Representative track: Onnellisuus (a danceable and atmospheric pop track)
Album: Maailmanlopun sushibaari (2013) [alternative rock] Representative track: Vanha nuori (an accessible pop track with a funky brass section and theatrical choruses)
Album: Ismo Kullervo Alanko (2015) [art pop/singesongwriter] Representative track: Lintuperspektiivi (a melancholic and sparsely produced track with airy ambience)
Album: Northern Lowland (2018) [glitch hop-y tribal electronic music] Representative track: Northern Lowland (a track with primal chanting and glitchy beats)
Album: Minä halusin olla niin kuin Beethoven (2019) [80s flavour indie rock] Representative track: Transsioletettu tanssi (a funky rock track with a somewhat generic 2000s rock chorus)
Discussion
What is your opinion on Ismo Alanko? I personally enjoy how prolific and eclectic he has been, and I find it a shame that most of his work has never left Finland. I can especially imagine punk fans easily getting into his 80s work.
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2020.09.19 10:29 CleaningHeights Carpet Cleaning Brooklyn Heights

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2020.09.19 06:08 AutoModerator DAILY COVID-19 MEGATHREAD - September 19, 2020

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2020.09.18 22:58 CrabBlaster-6 [WTS]Tons-O-Parts RESTOCK - Bayonets, Frogs, Romy Bakelite, Uncommon Mag, Hungarian Blue & Blonde, Furniture (PSL, Ironwood, SAR, ACE, Arsenal, Shockwave, VEPR, DDR, China, Polish), UF stocks (Rus T1&T2, Yugo M70&M92, China, Polish), Grips, Muzzle devices, Slings, Parts $2750&below [NY]

This add will be crossposted, so timestamps do matter. All marketplace rules apply. I can accept Postal money order, Personal check (item will be held until the funds clear, Venmo, Zelle, Cashapp, and (my preferred option) Paypal (goods & services = +4%, or Friends & family = 0 additional costs). If paying digitally, put NO GUN WORDS in the comment box. Shipping will be based on the smallest flat rate box or padded envelope that I can fit it into. If it is under one pound I will ship First class, between $3-$5. If desired, insurance will be extra, as I will not be held liable for lost packages. I have not had one go missing yet, but there is always that chance. I will ship from Brooklyn, NY. First unconditional “I’ll take it" gets it. I can provide more pictures upon request to your email or cell, so leave either or both in the message that you send me. FEEDBACK will be left upon payment. Tracking information will be provided the day of payment
All items are prices as OBO. If you don't like my pricing, offer what you believe to be fair. Worst I can say is no.
Bayonets - Left to right
B1. Ultra-rare Russian 6x4 Transitional Green bakelite Boarder-Guard Bayonet – In talking with hardcore collectors only 2 or 3 of these have bakelite versions have made it out of Russia and into US. This is in 95-98% condition, with a tiny spot of rust in one of the numbers. A clear proof Izzy triangle proof, and great Green bakelite grain in contrast to the orange plug. This will be the gem of any collection. - $2750
B2. Bulgarian 6x4 bakelite bayonet, Missing hanger - $60 - SOLD
B3. Rare, complete, Yugo Paratrooper Fighting Knife good used condition - $450
B4. Polish 6x2 Bayonet with very dark fleck panels - $50 - SOLD
B5. Polish 6x4 bayonet with standard leather hanger - $50 - SOLD
B6. Polish 6x4 bayonet, good condition with new style canvas frog/hanger - $75 - Withdrawn
Bayonet Hangers/Frogs
BH1. 3x Seldom seen Lithuanian hangers/Frogs G to VG condition - $80 each
UHG1. 9x Romanian AIMS/AMIPM90 Bakelite upper handguards These are very hard to find, I have not seen any for sale in quite a while. Most are in great shape, a few have some skuffs, small gouges, but will clean up great with a couple coats of sesame oil. Several shades from light to dark available. $95 each – Handpick is possible - 5x SOLD as Marked
Picture is of the Romanian compared to a Bulgarian UHG to prove authenticity. Top UHG is Romanian, bottom is Bulgarian
M1. Russian glass-filled bakelite 5.45 Mag - Uncommon flakey glass filled early bakelite mag, good condition, Mold #13 - $300
[img]https://i.imgur.com/yg3khqX.png[/img]
Hungarian parts – Some normal, some more uncommon/rare sets
H1 – 3x Blue/Grey complete stock sets, with rarely seen sling swivels and uncommon cleawhite grip plugs and buttpad mounting screws. 2x separate Hungarian sources say there are no more blue grips in Hungary. – Seen two sets for sale, for $500 & $400. Buttstocks are pristine, grips have various levels of wear but all in good condition. Cleaned them all up more yesterday, look better and all go together pretty nicely. Mix and Match grips to stock set - $350/set
H2. Excellent condition AMD-65 stock/handguard/grip set - $120
H3. AMP-69 Recoil Spring - $50
H4. 7x AMD grips - $5 each
H5. 6x Clear grip caps for blue plastic grips, Last ones in Hungary - $25 each - 2x SOLD
H6. 10x Complete 3 piece Hungarian bayonet hanger & strap set - $40 each
H7. 7x Lower hangers - $15 each
H8. 14x Retention straps - $10 each
H9. Blue buttstock NOS, with minimal storage wear - $100 - SOLD
H10. Virgin NOS AK55 Stock set (Buttstock Lower and Upper Handguard are Virgin, Grip looks to have seen a little use, but is still in very good condition). Caveat, Lower handguard is for an AKM63F that was reprofiled to fit an AK55. - $330
Buttstocks & Handguards
F1. Arsenal 4.5mm folding buttstock - $90
F2. F2. M92/85 pistol Shockwave Tech Blade stabilizer, buffer tube, adapter & US Palm grip, all DIY rattle canned, but looks decent, little flaking. Came off a partial kit that I don’t need - $60 for all
F3. Magpul MOE FDE stock, complete - $50 - SOLD
F4. Custom finished VEPR slant RPK clubfoot cut stock. Finishes by Vance Rosensetter in an automotive purple/black crackle finish. Cost me $100 for the stock. I chopped the grip off and went a different way. Sanded the bottom smooth and stained black to closely match the finish. Cant tell when its installed. - $80
F5. Bulgarian black fixed stock set with Arsenal grip, handguards missing heatshield, otherwise complete - $100
F6. UKN US made stock, undrilled - $30
F7. Black Arsenal AK 74 Stocks. missing the sling swivel $25
F8. Complete PSL stock set. Great condition, with lots of grain character - $180
F9. Dirty Blonde Romanian SAR-1 hardwood palmswell set with PM90 Inverse grip - $140 - SOLD
F10. Complete Ironwood Designs Soviet AK74 pattern stockset, unmounted, Sells for $315 +couple months wait - $275 - SOLD
F11. 2x ACE AKFXL / 1xACE AKFXS stocks. Both AKFXL stocks have Ace folding adapters, AKFXS has fixed adapterAKFXL - $100 each / AKFXS - $70 - SOLD
Handguards Left to right
HG1. NOS blued Chinese gas tube with blonde UHG. Looks near perfect - $75
HG2. Unique, polymer handguard set with rubberized grip area. Marked Made in Singapore inside the LHG - $40
HG3. NOS East German T3 milled lower handguard - $80
HG4. Barely used Polish set with gastube - $75 - Withdrawn
Underfold Buttstocks
UF1. Polish new made/milled underfold AKMSL arm with all necessary rivets & pieces to convert an AKMS stock. – Asking what I have in it $250
UF2. Russian T2 underfold stock assembly. Excellent bluing and great proofs. Deconstructed, missing two pins. - $150
UF3. Yugo M70 underfold stock, no trunnion or hardware - $75
UF4. Yugo M92 underfold stock, no trunnion or hardware - $75
UF5. Chinese underfold stock, has a little rust, the finish is 85% - Paid $100 for it, want what I paid - $100
UF6. Polish assembly, complete minus trunnion. Has several nice diamond proofs - $130
UF7. Complete Type 1 Russian underfold assembly, including the trunnion, which is rarely if ever seen. I was holding onto this for a rainy day either another T1 build, or a unique khyber, who knows, but it is clear to me, that I will not make use of this, so I want to pass this onto someone who will appreciate and use this as it should. Asking $1000 for the full assembly. I will cover shipping and insurance if full asking is paid.
Pistol Grips – Left to right, Top to Bottom – Prices reduced to move
PG1. Yugo M76, excellent condition and wood grain - $75 - SOLD
PG2. UKN different shaped wood grip, feels great in hand - $25
PG3. UKN (looks US made) unfinished wood grip (looks walnut) missing ferrule $3 - SOLD
PG4. NOS Russian plum Fat RPK/PKM grip marked 1/1 - $60
PG5. 2x great condition Romanian PKM grips - $50 each
PG6. 2x PG-T SAW style grip with left side safety cutout - $10 ea
PG7. CAA UPG47 grip set - $15
PG8. Magpul MOE NIB grip - $10
PG9. Magpul SL NIB grip – $10
PG10. 5x UKN tan grips - $3 each
PG11. 4x UKN Black grips (Same style as tan ones) - $3 each
PG12. 3x Yugo M70/72/85/92 grips - $3 each - 2x SOLD
PG13. 3x UKN black plastic grips - $3 each
PG14. UKN fat checkered US grip - $3
PG15. Tapco orange grip, has damage on L side near trigger guard $3
PG16. UKN Black Grip - $3
PG17. East German, good condition grip – $15
PG18. 2x MD Arms VEPR clone grips - $12 each
Muzzle Devices – Left to Right, Bottom to Top
MD1. 11x US made Slant brakes 14x1lh - $6 each
MD2. 4x eastern block slant brakes 14x1lh - $10 each - 2x SOLD
MD3. 4x US made Muzzle nuts 14x1lh - $6 each
MD4. 3x eastern block muzzle nuts - $10 each
MD5. UKN country blank firing device 14x1lh - $10
MD6.2x Primary Weapons Systems ( PWS ) FSC-47 GEN 1. First-generation WITHOUT birdcage ends. Threaded 14x1lh with detent. All-New, inbox, in wrapping. - $95 each
MD7. MD11. R.A.G.E TCS recoil system end cap, rethreaded to 14x1lh to serve as muzzle cap - $7
MD8. Genuine Iraqi Tabuk, blueing is in excellent condition, rare piece for authentic build, 14x1LH - $160
MD9. 2 inch barrel extension, UKN MFG 14x1LH - $5 - SOLD
MD11. Chinese RPK “fishbone” brake, has some wear 14x1lh - $65 - SOLD
MD12. US made Yugo M95 flash hider, rarely seen real or clone 14x1lh - $40
MD13. A2 Phantom flash hider, sells or $65 14x1lh - $30
MD14. Infinite “walking dead muzzle device, nitride coated, sells for $60, 14x1lh - $40
MD15. UKN, different looking AK74 style brake, UKN country of MFG 14x1lh- $30
MD16. UKN ak 74 style brake 14x1lh - $15 - SOLD
MD17. 3x original virgin M92/85 muzzle devices & 1x US made, 26mm - $40 each
MD18. VISM 24mm brake with 14x1lh adapter - $25
MD19. Birdcage flash hider, UKN threads, believe either 15x1RH or 15x1LH - $5
MD20. 3x us made AMD brake extensions 14x1lh - $25 each
MD21. 3x UKN AK74 style brakes, No markings at all, no halfmoon or zigzag cuts, 24mm - $40 each - 1x SOLD
MD22. SKS twist on, set screw brake - $8
Slings & Oilers
S1. 10x OD - Great condition, basically NOS Russian T1/T2 slings - $50 each
S2. 5x Mustard - Great condition, basically NOS Russian T1/T2 slings - $60 each
S3. 6x Navy - Great condition, basically NOS Russian T1/T2 slings - $70 each 1x 1952, 5x 1951
S4. 4x 1962 dated Russian early AKM slings - $35 - 1x SOLD
S5. 22x NOS wide Chinese AK/SKS 2x leather strap slings. These are a rarely seen version of CHICOM sling, much more robust than standard 2x tab slings. All NOS with minor age stains, complete with keepers and all have crisp stamps. - $40 each - 1x SOLD
S6. East German Purple RPG sling - $10
S7. 4x Chinese 2 leather tab slings, various shades of green, 1x with NCStar Made in China Tag, Bottom two have 1x torn leather strap each - $10 each
S8. 2x spring Chinese SKS slings - $8 each 1x SOLD
S9. 3x NOS narrow Chinese AK/SKS 2x leather strap slings, all NOS with minor age stains, complete with keepers, no stamps. - $30 each
S10. 4x Chinese dark OD Type 95 double hook slings - $35 each
S11. 4x clear red stamp double spring SKS/T56 narrow slings - $18 each - 3x SOLD
S12. 4x New Chinese single hook sling – OD with bright pink stamps - $45 each
S13. 2x Dual-tube Chinese oiler - $18 each
S14. 4x Chinese Black Type 95 double hook slings - $35 each
S15. 10x NOS Polish T2 slings with leather tab - Immaculate condition - $40 each
S16. 3x Polish T1 slings, factory green metal pieces, Lower one has stamps on leather - $60 each
AK Parts – Left to right, Top to Bottom
P1. Bulgarian or Russian AK74 recoil rod - $50
P2. AK105 Recoil Rod - $60
P3. 99. Virgin East German AK74 cover NOS - $40
P4. Railed Maadi RPM receiver cover. this one seems short. Fit, but barely on my RPM, Paid $80 for it, priced at $40 as it may not fit.
P5. Railed Maadi RPM receiver cover, NOS, with scope rings - $75
P6. 2x New US made AK74 gas pistons Sell for $34 + shipping - $25 each
P7. 3x New US made AKM pistons, Sell for $34 + shipping - $25 each
P8. AKM (Believe East German) HGR - $30
P9. Yugo RPK Handguard Retainer - $15
P10. AK105 Gas Tube - $60
P11. East German AK74 Gas tube, missing retention spring - $40 - SOLD
P12. UKN Blued T3 gas tube. Looks NOS - $35
P13. Yugo M76 Gas Tube - $50
P14. 3x rare, virgin VEPR 12 railed gas blocks - original from Molot Factory, correct to convert stock gas block back to factory OG from Russia, Last of my stock, CANNOT get more - $250 each
P15. UKN, Incomplete AK74/AK103 FSB (Missing sight drum and post, brake pin, spring, and post - $75
P16 Bulgarian AK74/AK103 FSB (Missing brake pin, spring, and post - $90
P17. M64 FSB, missing night flip sight - $30
P18. Yugo M70AB2 Cleaning rod - $10
P19. UKN 2 piece plastic AKM/74 to AR style stock adapter – Free to add onto any order
P20. Bottom half, Polish original AKMSL rail, seen better days. Has one pin - $40
P21. Yugo M92 virgin trigger guard - $20
P22. 2x Milled pistol grip nut, ugly demil, should build fine - $5 each
P23.4x Rear sight leafs; (K) marked 1000m, (D) marked 800m. (N) marked 1000m, (A) marked, orange-1000m, (N) & 1 (A) missing elevation adjustment drum. (N) marked = $20 (A) marked = $25, (D)&***********\**(K) marked* = $35 each k K-1000m SOLD
Miscellaneous AK related
M1. Polish BFPU mag pouch - $20 - SOLD
M2. East German Uniform dress belt - $10
M3. California “Bullet Button” AK mag release block - $5
M4. 7x US made Mag plates - $5 each
M5. 5x short US made AKM mag followers - $3 each
M6. 6x long US made black mag followers - $3 each
M7. Orange AK74 mage follower, US made - $3
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2020.09.18 15:04 rusticgorilla The NINE agencies Trump is using to corrupt the election

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

ODNI and Intelligence Community

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

Department of Homeland Security

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

Customs and Border Patrol

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

Justice Department

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

CDC and FDA

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

Department of Health and Human Services

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

US Postal Service

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

National Park Service

Assist in taxpayer funded staging of campaign events.
Yes, even the National Park Service has been corrupted by Trump, via former oil industry lobbyist and Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. Most recently, the NPS produced what appears to be a campaign ad, with no other purpose than promoting Trump. In fact, the words “PRESIDENT TRUMP” in all caps are the first words to appear on screen. The video likely breaks the law:
The federal Anti-Deficiency Act prohibits the use of federal funds for purposes other than those Congress has authorized… if Congress has not authorized the Interior Department to use our money to create campaign ads (and it hasn’t), then the Interior Department cannot legally create campaign ads. In addition to this general prohibition against using funds for unauthorized purposes, there is an express prohibition against propaganda.
Additionally the NPS allowed Trump to take over Mount Rushmore National Memorial for an air and fireworks show ostensibly to celebrate Independence day. In reality, Trump used the event to rail against Democrats, promote his statute-protecting executive order, and warn of a "left-wing cultural revolution." Put differently, it was a campaign event in the middle of a national park.
In June, U.S. Park Police (officers of the NPS) took part in forcibly removing peaceful protestors with tear gas and rubber bullets from the area in and around Lafayette Park, a national historic landmark and public place, for the president's photo-op with a bible. And in 2019, the Park Service used $2.5 million in fees paid by national park visitors to fund President Trump's "Salute to America" celebration in the National Mall.
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2020.09.18 06:10 AutoModerator DAILY COVID-19 MEGATHREAD - September 18, 2020

All Coronavirus (COVID-19) links, discussions and related pics belong in this thread.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in NYC, please visit: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home
Questions? Call the COVID-19 Hotline: 1-888-364-3065 or Ask a Question here
If you are witnessing price gouging on items like cleaning supplies, toilet paper or soap, please call the New York State Department of Consumer Protection. They have launched a toll-free hotline 1-800-697-1220 and will investigate reports of unfair price increases amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. You can also file a complaint online at https://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/form/ComplaintForm1.asp
To report a scam or other consumer problem related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please click here.
Essential services that are allowed to remain open: Click here
For more information about COVID-19 and country-specific travel restrictions, please visit the CDC website.
The New York Blood Center Enterprises (NYBCe) strongly urges individuals who feel healthy and well to make an appointment at a donor center or blood drive to give blood, platelets and plasma. Walk-ins are also welcome. For more information, visit: https://nybloodcenter.org/donate-blood/covid-19-and-blood-donation-copy/
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2020.09.17 22:41 Raymondlia How To Keep Fish - Tips And Advice

If you're looking for a great way to entertain your family, and also teach them about how to properly care for a fish, then fish n' tingle is the perfect gift. These fish toys are extremely cute, and they're going to be enjoyed by everyone in the household. This will make teaching your children about fish fun and help them learn the basic concepts of keeping these beautiful creatures healthy.
The fish n' tingle is not only affordable, but they are fun to give as gifts too. They come in many different colors and sizes, and they're all affordable, making them a great gift. There's a whole set that's available, and includes some plastic eggs and plastic fish with lures and toys for them to play with while the n' tling fish are being prepared.
The toys are small and are shaped like a fish n' tingle fish. One comes with a plastic egg, and another has a fish with lures and toys inside. Another one is shaped as a tingle fish and has a tingle that makes it very easy for kids to catch their own fish. There's also one that looks like a frog and has a few toys on it.
Don't waste any more time finding the right gifts for your children. Fish n' tingle is one of the best, and it's going to be appreciated for years to come. You can find them at your local Wal-mart or pet store. These toys can also be found online, and they are a great way to get your kids involved with the fish loving hobby.
While there are many ways to keep fish alive, keeping them alive and healthy is very important. You should remember that fish can eat almost anything, and if your fish tank gets too full, they will die, and it will be hard to get rid of the dead fish, as well as the toxins and bacteria in their water. It's very important to keep an aquarium up to date on a regular basis, as fish don't like living in water that is too dirty.
When you first set up your fish tank, you should have plenty of clean water and clean fish. This will help avoid having to use ammonia, which is a chemical that can be harmful to fish. Make sure that there is enough water in the tank for your fish to swim around in. If you do have fish that have been stressed out of water, you need to give them lots of freshwater fish food, but not more than that.
A good aquarium filter is very important for keeping your fish healthy. Fish like clean water, so they like the smell of the aquarium filters, and they enjoy eating the live plants. If you have live plants in your tank, you should make sure you put those in as well, to make sure the water remains balanced and clean.
The fish can stay alive for a long time if they are fed properly and kept hydrated. You can do this by providing food and water that contain fish food, which will make it easy to keep the fish healthy. This will keep your fish healthy in the long run. If you have any kind of fish tanks, it is important to keep them in them regularly, because fish will live longer if you know how to care for them properly.
One thing to remember when keeping fish, is that the more fish there are, the slower it will grow. If there are too many fish in the tank, the fish will slow down their growth, and the tank will be more difficult to maintain. In order to avoid this, you can use a floating light to stimulate the growth of the fish. Fish will also look better if there are more fish around them, because they won't all crowd the aquarium.
Another way to keep fish is by making sure you take care of them when you're not home. This can sometimes be difficult, especially if you have children, so it's a good idea to teach them how to take care of the fish. if you have younger children.
If you have a smaller aquarium and only have one or two fish in the tank, the other fish can help feed the fish. There will be a lot less fish waste in the tank, which will make it easier for the other fish to eat it. This can be a good way to save money, and the environment.
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2020.09.17 17:19 NPL212 Just venting

Ugh, I’m just annoyed and want to vent. I emailed Moxi to ask about the skate leash I ordered. When I ordered they were in stock, but now they are saying they won’t ship until October. All I wanted to know is if there was a leash set aside when I ordered or if my skates would sit waiting for it. I expressed a desire for the skates to ship without the leash if necessary. I mentioned the last tentative ship date was 9/24, and in parentheses I asked “(is that still accurate?)”
That one tiny parenthetical question became their main focus. The first response was them saying they’d reach out to Riedell. The second email was them saying they couldn’t give an accurate ETA, and my order wasn’t processed until 6/27, and I need to pass the 14 week mark before they’ll have info for me. I always thought it was 14 weeks from ordering (9/24) but they told me to check back after 10/5.
Anyway, I responded with, “Thank you! What about my main inquiry about the leash?” To which they replied, “your leash will ship with your skates.” Well WTF? Does that mean there is a leash ready for me or that they’ll sit waiting for the leash? That’s all I want to know; I just am sick of waiting for the skates. I live in NY and my outdoor skating days are numbered. I want to use the new skates outside before I can’t anymore.
And this is purely just me venting my frustration, because when I was in customer service, I was as clear and informative as possible.
Thank you for letting me vent!
submitted by NPL212 to DudeWheresMyMoxis [link] [comments]


2020.09.17 13:02 closeprotections Close Protection London Close Protection Services London

Close protection – is a concept that has been known for ages – it has been with us since early days of humankind and now its condition is more than satisfactory. Since time immemorial, people have tried to protect their wealth, assets, as well as their own health, life, and welfare. By means of the transfer of gathered goods, wealthy individuals have been paying other parties to protect them, their families, and possessions from others. As a general rule, young, notably strong, and grim-looking individuals have been considered perfectly suitable for such a job. The idea behind such a choice has been to scare away a potential adversary by taking advantage of the very looks of the guard. The aforementioned state of affairs has been observed for the consecutive ages. Wealthy landowners and kings created their own trusted guards (in ancient times and during the medieval age, those were troops designated to protect the authorities; later on, they were transformed into elite soldiers). Aside from serving representative and managerial purposes, such individuals were required to take care of their master and his beloved ones. In the 11th century England, during the Battle of Hastings, King Harold assembled a group of troops to protect his life and widely understood health condition. One may consider them to be the ancestors of modern bodyguards. As both civilization and society progressed, there were an increasing number of various organizations and people. Therefore, the risk of attack was significantly higher. Numerous authorities attempted to discourage potential aggressors from committing a crime by introducing severe forms of punishment. It must be noted, however, that there was still the question if it was enough to protect high authorities and the wealthy from the effects of outside attacks. The protection-oriented market has been developing to be – at some point – dominated by professional soldiers. The said progression has made it possible for police officers to investigate and deal with common, less dangerous crimes only. Together with technical revolution and the increasing social awareness, the number of citizens not satisfied with the current order skyrockets. It is likely to cause radical groups aiming at the change of the existing ruling paradigm to occur. This in turn may lead to anarchy and the increase in people willing to put their antisocial theories and plans into effect. The latter may start from sabotaging the work of others and demolishing valuable devices, but it may also end up in killings. If such a thing happens, one may openly talk about terrorism. The unusual social situation boosts the demand for personal protection. Both the army and police focus on securing the wellbeing of those of high position in the country. The rest of the threatened society must protect itself. The demand identified above has given rise to a new profession – a security guard. In the past, it was performed in a more or less organized fashion and that is why the effectiveness of arising task achievement varied. The attempt on Tsar’s Alexander the Second life on 1st March 1881 is a perfect exemplification of the formulated thesis. The ruler in question was attacked by the members of Narodnaya Volya at 2:15 P.M. A bomb was thrown under the carriage, but its explosion did not harm either the tsar or the horses. Alexander the Second, together with his companion including secret police representatives, started to assess damages. It was a mistake. At 2:20 P.M, yet another bomb was detonated. Its accuracy was notably higher as it managed to severely injure the tsar. He died relatively quickly, even with professional care he was under. At this point, it must be indicated that the demand for close protection increases. However, the perception of it is in a significant number of cases rather faulty, leading to pitiful outcomes. As it was hundreds of years earlier, modern people tend to hire grim musclemen to protect them, disregarding the fact that their intellectual level and possessed knowledge are negligible. Formerly, a test had to be passed in order for a person to be considered a bodyguard. Unfortunately, it does not hold true anymore. On numerous occasions, we can observe security guards stylized to look like stats of action movies, with the lack of intelligence written all over their faces. To give them justice, such people may also perform exceptionally well – up to the time they encounter a real attack. Unprofessional guards may be employed to protect rock stars or boxers. Real bodyguards of today are, however, highly skilled and motivated. They are trained to prevent rather than to counteract, as it may be too late in the latter case. Such people are capable of estimating potential risk and juxtaposing it with the resources at their disposal that may minimize it. Modern security guards are physically active, as well as skilled in giving first aid and driving a car defensively. They can fight without using any weapon – especially by taking advantage of psychology and persuasion. Such people are proficient in at least two languages and are characterized by an above-average intelligence level. The described model of a security guard is perfectly suited to current conditions and the needs of individuals hiring them.

VIP close protection over the world – organizations specializing in personal protection. One of the most famous and at the same time – the oldest organized bodies dealing with close protection was created in the 19th century. It was the American United States Secret Service. The USSS was created in 1865 as the US Treasury Law Enforcement Agency. Secret Service is the oldest national agency focusing entirely on investigations. Initially, their only task was to protect the economic structure of the country by means of preventing governmental cheques and bonds from being counterfeited. The mission was followed up to 1901, when president William McKinley was attacked in Buffalo (NY state). The assault resulted in appointing the Secret Service by the US Congress to protect the newly elected president, Theodore Roosevelt. In 1906, the Congress finally adopted the act on the responsibility of the Secret Service for the safety of the White House. Since 1950, the protection has been extended from presidents and first ladies only to vice-presidents as well. Before the murder of John F. Kennedy in 1963 and senator Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, the Secret Service had been a relatively small organization, employing as many as 284 agents. The discussed events translated directly into its rapid development. Currently, it is stated that over 5000 employees work for the Secret Service. Separate branches of the organization are located all over the United States, in Puerto Rico, and in other places all over the world (Paris, Lyon, London, Bonn, Rome, Milano, Hong Kong, Montreal, Lefkosa, Bogota, and Manila). The representatives of the organization are both secret agents (serving protection and investigation-related roles), as well as uniformed units responsible for the safety of the White House and diplomatic outposts. They maintain law and order by means of the network of both foot and motorized patrols, as well as of fixed posts. Such people also support other branches of the Secret Service. A wide scope of professional is also employed therein – those are electronics, engineers, communication experts, protection-related professionals, and IT workers. The Secret Service protects the president with his family, vice-president, elected vice-president, candidates for the said posts (from the 120th day before the elections onwards), former president, his children up to 16, as well as heads of other states staying in the USA in order to realize international missions. The unit of the Secret Service liable for taking care about the safety of the president in the White House fulfills its duties in identical uniforms. Due to the said fact, the Secret Service is sometimes referred to as the Uniformed Division. Its tasks also include the protection of president’s mansions, diplomatic outposts in Washington, and places alike located within the borders of the USA.

Another known formation is the Swiss Guard (Latin: Cohors Helvetica) which was for the very first time gathered on 22nd January 1506 by the then pope – Julius II. Its major aim was to protect the spiritual successor of Saint Peter and his palace. The pope wanted to grant himself protection from the enemies and avoid a political murder. In 1512, the Guard secured Vatican against French soldiers. The Defendants of the Church, as the representatives of the discussed formation were also called, had to face the biggest trail while taking care of pope Clemens VII during the invasion of Roman emperor, Charles V. The boldness, discipline, and resourcefulness of the representatives of the Guard made it possible to save the life of the pope, even though about 600 bold men died in the process. To commemorate the event, a solemn vow of the newly appointed guards takes place every year on 6th May. Each of the Swiss guards-to-be holds a banner in his left hand and raises his right hand with the thumb and two other fingers in an upright position (it is the symbol of the Holy Trinity). Then, the new soldiers promise to protect the pope and – to die in his defense if necessary. The representatives of the Swiss Guard are chosen from men between the age of 19 and 25 living in one of Swiss cantons (basing on contracts with Zurich and Lucerne). Each of them has to be at least 174 cm (5 feet and a half inch) tall and be an unmarried practicing Catholic (according to a special letter issued by the local bishop). Candidates for the service are properly trained, including teaching them how to use firearms, side arms, as well as how to defend themselves and establish proper contacts with other people. One of the items of the list is the proper usage of halberd. Currently, the number of soldiers in the Guard is estimated to circulate around 120, including officers, junior, and senior soldiers. They serve in the formation from two to twenty-five years. It must be also indicated at this point that officers and senior sergeants may be granted by the pope the right to enter into a holy matrimony. Aside from their characteristic outfit, soldiers are additionally equipped with halberds and Renaissance swords – those are the symbols of formation’s tradition. Nowadays, they are also fitted with firearms, tear gas, and excellent communication-oriented devices. With its almost five hundred years of heritage, the Swiss Guard is one of the oldest active defense-oriented groups in the world. One may assume that it will last until Switzerland and the Catholic Church exist.

Yet another example of a close protection-focused formation is the Cedrug Order, the major task of which is to take care about the ruler of Tibet – Dalai Lama. It comprises of national spiritual authorities who organized themselves in a form of an order. Thanks to strict upbringing, their physical strength is much higher than the one of secular officials. Therefore, the former are the most trusted soldiers caring about the safety of the leader of the nation. Cedurg School is located in the left wing of Potala – the palace of Dalai Lama, which is in turn situated in the Holy City of Lhasa (eastern Tibet, Kyitsu river valley). Every Tibet citizen is allowed to enroll to the school, but only chosen ones are granted the privilege to join the Order. For several hundred years, there have been a limited number of monks allowed, namely – 175. Only selected candidates have been worthy enough to defend the powerful Dalai Lama. Those are especially bold, tall, and muscular men. The representatives of the Order earned their name in 1959, when they protected the king of Tibet against Chinese adversaries.

One of the biggest organizations in the world established to consociate and train bodyguards is the International Bodyguard Association (IBA). The IBA was established in 1957 in Paris by major Lucien Victor Ott. Major Ott had been closely connected to the French Foreign Legion in Algeria since his early childhood. He had been born and raised in the said country. In 1947, he joined the French Special Forces and took part in France-Indochina war. Furthermore, he was the participant of the battle of Dien-Bien Phu that ended with the defeat of the French forces. He was being injured and captured by Vietminh. After a bold escape, he decided to join forces with the French Military Intelligence (Deuxieme Bureau). Major Lucien Ott got famous due to, inter alia, perfect securing of president Charles de Gaulle against the OAS terrorist organization. Thanks to him, 30 prepared attacks were foiled, 11 of which were aimed directly at the head of the state. After the death of the creator of a modern bodyguard profile, major Ott, one of his students – James G. Shortt took care of the management of the IBA. As a young man, he had joined a cadet school. Later on, he had become landing operation troops officer and a member of the elite SAS (Special Air Service) unit. Moreover, during his service, he also taught soldiers in Afghanistan the art of Mujahedeen war. Currently, he teaches security guards, police officers, and soldiers all over the world in the IBA branches. The main aim of the organization is to properly prepare bodyguards-to-be to properly perform their duties. It is not an entity employing such individuals, but those who have presented exceptional skills may become members of royal, diplomatic, or personal guards recommended by the IBA. Coaches being the representatives of the organization trained bodyguards in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as helped during the Baltic Crisis between 1989 and 1991. The qualifications of the International Bodyguard Association are exceptional, international, and backed by the documentation concerning the organization of training sessions for the military, governmental authorities, police, and private bodyguards all over the world. Such undertakings have been continuously performed since 1957. The IBA also operates and trains willing individuals in Poland. Its branch was established in the said country in 1992. The basic training offered to candidates includes 60 hours of comprehensive preparation divided into six consecutive days. After its completion, the candidates are required to undergo the so-called refresher once a year. It is one of the conditions of the membership in the IBA.

Another training organization worth mentioning is the ESI - Executive Security International. It must be highlighted that it is one of the biggest and most appreciated American companies oriented towards training personal protection guards. Its second name is as follows: Bodyguard Training Academy for Executive, Dignitary and Celebrity Protection. The ESI was formed at the beginning of the 80s by Bob Duggan – martial arts expert and master in Hwarang Do. Its creation had been preceded by the establishment of the very first bodyguard training program by the Martial Arts Academy in Aspen, Colorado. The ESI, being one of the USA’s private schools, offers its students over 2000 hours of education with regard to protection, investigation, data gathering, company and individual security, etc. The training unit of the organization is situated high up in the mountains and is run by skilled professionals. Fun fact – film writer, Tracy Keenan Wynn, cooperates with the ESI. His preeminent task has been to create scenarios of situational exercises. While writing them, the said individual takes advantage of real life situations and attacks, such as assaults on Aldo Moro, John Paul the Second, kidnapping of Hans Martin Schleyer by the RAF (Red Army Faction), and scenarios alike. The ESI collaborates with corporations operating in the close protection branch of industry, as well as with the police and military. The organized training sessions are top secret. No journalists are allowed to enter the Aspen unit. Due to the fact that the ESI is a private school, it may provide professional training to civil, police-related, and military institutions all over the world.

The citizens of Israel have never had the chance to feel safe in their country. The issue of safety has been always treated seriously there. Aside from a constant Israel-Arab world conflict threat, the Israelis have been the subjects of terrorist attracts, both within the borders of their country and outside it. Jews and Americans are most frequent victims of operations organized by highly skilled terrorist groups. Taking into account the impact the Russian mafia has on Israel, the amount of care put on widely understood safety is fully justified. The Israeli Special Forces protect their citizens by means of intelligence and security-oriented undertakings. They host training sessions in various organizations preparing bodyguards, providing the adepts with the experience gained during the service. Most famous units of the said kind in Israel are undoubtedly the ISA - International Security Academy and the ISS - International Security School.

ISA is an international organization established and managed by former leaders, police instructors, and special service members. The very first unit of the ISA was formed in Latvia as a training and advising agency for both governmental and private security guards belonging to the Baltic States and the countries of the former USSR. The fact that the ISA is not exclusively Israeli in character is proved by the figure of the organization chairman, major Urlich Wegener – the creator and very first leader of German Border Control Service called GSG 9. The team of instructors and coaches also has international roots. The credo of the organization is that the preparation of the individuals for the proper protection of others is the key. Such people have to be offered highest quality training, extensive knowledge, and practical background. The ISS training programs are based predominantly on the experiences gained in Israel and in other countries, as well as while training people for the purpose of protecting VIPs over the world. Individuals, governmental authorities, and large-size corporations have been taking advantage of the services provided by the ISA/ISS.

At the moment, civil bodyguards are also involved in close protection. The safety of the individuals hiring them, as well as their possessions depends highly on the qualifications of the former. Quite frequently, those are former policemen, soldiers, or special force members. However, a number of inexperienced adepts would like to start their adventure with personal protection as well. Are they bound to fail in their attempts? It is not always so. The most crucial component affecting the effectiveness of the training is one’s psychological preparation. It is a commonly known fact that it is exceptional in former police officers and troops. However, it is a common belief that one can be trained how to perform the job of a bodyguard, just as it is possible to teach a person how to shoot or be properly engaged in melee combat. It all depends on one’s motivation and willingness to achieve success in the industry. Regulations to date limit the training process of a security guard to the moment of being awarded with a license. In order to perform his tasks properly, such a person has to constantly improve his skills and qualifications.

Phenomena connected with the need of utilization of close protection techniques – Terrorism/Terrorist. It goes without saying that terrorism is one of the biggest threats of today’s world. While analyzing the severity of attacks and their scale, one should not doubt that VIPs should be at all possible occasions protected against the aforementioned forms of assault. In order to assess the threat a given problem pose, its specificity must be identified at first. The notion of „terrorism” was for the first time in history used during the Conference of the International Criminal Law Association in Brussels, in 1930. To date, there have been approximately 200 various definitions of the phenomenon in question. While trying to grasp its characteristic features, one will face a number of limitations and difficulties. One of statements of historian Walter Laqueur has to be touched upon here. While asked why he has been avoiding formulating an unequivocal definition of terrorism, he replied: „For 50 or so years, people are constantly trying to understand the idea behind terrorism. It is a phenomenon having different forms, depending on its place of origin and epoch. How can one find common ground between Russian revolutionists from the end of the 19th century and Al-Qaida anarchists?

Terrorism is mainly based on the utilization of force or threat in order to achieve political or ideological goals. It is hard to say something beyond that. Terrorism is like pornography – it escapes logical classification, but if one sees it – then it becomes apparent.” It is hard to argue with the statement, as it perfectly shows the complexity of the phenomenon in question. For the purpose of this publication, a strict definition of terrorism is not needed. All that is required is the utterance formulated by Walter Laqueur stating that terrorism can be most fully perceived through its manifestations. Terrorist acts are undoubtedly illegal, as they are based on kidnapping people and forcedly taking control over means of communication, economic sabotage, attacks, robberies, demanding ransom to finance organization’s own activity, posing threat to life, health, and freedom of authorities, and kidnapping people from outside the area in order to gain publicity (especially journalists, priests, voluntary workers). One may also indicate the usage of explosives and firearms in public areas and poisoning certain spots by means of radioactive materials and chemicals. Longin Tadeusz Szmidt additionally pointed out that terrorism has always been strictly connected with crafty and hard to identify methods of killing the leaders of nations. While describing the phenomenon of terrorism as a threat for the protected person, one should also point out and indicate its sources. The following are enumerated: - social and economic sources that are directly connected to economic crises, social tensions, social and national discrimination, as well as with the perception of dissonance between the factual reality and the one presented by the media; - historical and political sources. They have their beginning in severe social reactions, demanding full democratization and respecting human rights; - sociological sources that may be related to the atmosphere typical for a given country or the so-called spirit of violence; - psychological sources stating that a significant part of terrorists is highly mentally unstable which is additionally combined with the overly high self-esteem. When it comes to the area of attack, the following are proposed by the experts: - land terrorism (the major threat area for VIPs and the key one for security guards), - air terrorism (personal protection is then entrusted to the authorities managing planes, airports, etc.), and – maritime terrorism (tasks and responsibilities are then similar to air attacks). While taking into account the type of terroristic activities, one may distinguish: bombing-based, nuclear, biological, chemical, technical, cybernetic (attacks on IT networks), and narcotic-oriented (narcotic cartels undertakings) terrorism. The highest threat for VIPs is undoubtedly the first type, namely – bombing-based one. Close protection-oriented undertakings should therefore incorporate the knowledge on paradigms effective during a bomb attack. They will be discussed in further sections of this publication. It is exceptionally difficult to argue with the thesis that we must be protected against terrorism. The same applies to VIPs. The importance of the latter is also worth discussing, as the threat is much higher when a top authority is attacked than when the assault poses threat to a pop star or a wealthy businessman. However, it does not limit the necessity to analyze and counteract terroristic attack threat. It may directly impact the safety of the person a given security guard is responsible for.

Crime is also one of the issues that may endanger protected VIPs. Up to the beginning of the 80s, Poland had been considered to be one of the safest countries in Europe. Law enforcement bodies had been numerous and properly financed there, and crime forecasting, prevention, and penalizing schemes had met all the European standards. However, at the end of the discussed period, the myth of threat-free Poland started to crumble. The effects of crime fighting scene were becoming gradually more negligible. The said state of affairs was predominantly caused by the decreasing trust in law enforcing organizations, as well as by the rapid increase in crimes committed by the citizens. Another important aspect that must be taken into account were economic and political changes taking place in 1989,the liberalization of economic activity, and the emergence of free market. Some individuals possessed unimaginable riches, whereas others were exceptionally poor. In order to survive till the next day, the latter searched for the answer in crimes, leading to the occurrence of the phenomenon commonly known as organized crime. According to official data from 2001, within the borders of Poland, there were over 400 organized crime groups consociating approximately 45 thousand people. They were generating profits by means of goods smuggling, selling stolen cars, producing and marketing narcotics, counterfeiting national currency, commuting bank frauds, selling firearms, and – what is of exceptional importance from the point of view of VIPs – demanding ransom. Criminals induce fear in the society, especially due to using terror and blackmailing. They do not hesitate to kidnap others or kill them. Such individuals resort to brutal treatment, such as beating, torturing, drowning, etc. All those factors combined directly translate into wealthy representatives of the society feeling threatened. What is more, criminals frequently tend to attack the family of a VIP as well, in order to convince him to perform a given action. Therefore, children, wife, and beloved ones of such an individual must be highly protected.

Popularity/Fame –The threat of attack may be in some cases linked to the popularity of a given human being. When a VIP is in isolation, then he may only receive unwanted phone calls or be nagged by photographers. The problem arises when he has to leave his place of permanent residence or workplace, as well as when he is in a publically accessible place. Danger may still be low, but the inquisitiveness of journalist may quickly become overwhelming. Fans or supporters of a given sportsman or artist may cause havoc in order to touch their idol or get hold of any item belonging to him or her. Of course, there is also the risk of serious injuries or even death (let us take John Lennon as an example) – it cannot be neglected. That is why famous and popular individuals should by all means care about their safety. The matter also concerns politicians who are widely recognizable and controversial. In politics, there are no limitations. Opponents may even resort to killing a representative of the other side to impose his or her right on others. Elected politicians tend to have close protection, but care should be additionally exercised to care about those running in elections. Such VIPs may be ridiculed by the crowd or the opposition (by throwing eggs or pouring water over the candidate), leading to the end of their political career. The role of security guards should in the aforementioned cases not be limited to physical protection only. They must also keep information about VIP’s family, realized projects, and operation profile confidential. The image of a famous person highly depends on the bodyguards being in his immediate surroundings. The manner of their operation, professionalism, and knowledge are top priorities there.

Attack on person – By definition, attack on person is the attempt to kill someone, steal his or her possessions, as well as to kidnap him or her. The criminal action in question has a long history, as assaults have been made throughout the consecutive ages. Their goal has been to achieve a political, economic, or cultural aim. Attacks on person may lead to tremendous changes in the society, which is perfectly depicted by the killing of John Kennedy and Icchak Rabin. In the majority of cases, however, such an attack does not have significantly far-reaching consequences. In order to be effective, bodyguards must answer themselves the following questions – why do criminals attack? How do they attack? How may the assault look like? Therefore, it is highly advised to specify the motif, methods utilized, and consecutive stages of one and every attack on person. Taking into account motifs, one must bear in mind that all the assaults have their agenda. No attack is made voluntarily, without forethought. In the following sections, most common causes of the aforementioned activity are going to be enumerated:

Revolutionary or political ones – organized groups (frequently consisting of fanatics) attack others in order to force the society to change the existing system or overthrow the current government (in the attempt to choose a new one). Their victims are often the authorities ruling the country. The attackers, who follow their revolutionary or political agenda, try to win the sympathy of other representatives of the society. Long before the planned attack itself, they distribute leaflets blaming current rulers for the widespread injustice. According to their belief, the elimination of the elites in power would bring positive outcomes for the whole country. Such an action was performed in Armenia in 1999, where members of the government were shot dead during one of their meetings. The terrorists informed that their death would improve the national situation.

Economic – terrorists claim that their potential victim is responsible for the poor economic condition of the country, company, or a group of people. In the majority of cases, economic attacks take place in countries where there are extreme disproportions between the wealthy and the poor. It must be taken into consideration, however that it is not always the case, as the assessment of the attackers tend to be highly subjective. Quite frequently, the cause of the assault is the personal conviction that the unsatisfying economic condition of the terrorist is the result of actions performed by the victim. It pushes the attacker into thinking that killing him would aid the situation.

Personal – In this case, the wrongdoers are motivated to make an attack due to jealousy, vengeance or other personal causes. Those people in many cases have notable personality disorders, manifesting themselves especially in the inability to control their behavior. The aforementioned state also leads to the failure to distinguish reality from fiction. A perfect exemplification of the motif in question is shooting Zuzanna Leśniak and an artist – Andrzej Zaucha by Yves Goulais in 1991. The trigger there was jealousy.

Ideological – The terrorist is convinced that the victim chosen by him has been threatening the values and principles followed by the attacker. The said rules are often of significant importance for both the group he belongs to and for himself personally. Ideological attacks on a person may be religious or social in character. The first case is oriented towards killing a religious person in the attempt to make it impossible for him to achieve his goals. The second scenario relates to the willingness to eliminate the leader of a given social group. Quite frequently, the additional agenda is to make the organization the terrorist is a part of more memorable and popular in the media. Free publicity is an additional benefit then.

Psychological – The most commonplace group of attacks. Modern psychology claims that every person using firearms, stabbing others with a knife, or taking advantage of explosives has been struggling with mental problems. The motif is of negligible importance, as the attacker may justify his actions with revolutionary, economic, or personal goals, but the fact is that the driving force is the inability to perceive the world correctly. The assassination of Bill Clinton in 1994 illustrates the above bluntly. Francisco Martin Duran stated that he had attacked Clinton to destroy the mist connecting him to an alien entity. Apparently, Duran wanted to eliminate the mist in order to save the world. Attacks considered as crimes may be triggered by a myriad of factors. Among them,there are: - clashes between the representatives of a crime organization, willingness to demonstrate one’s power or threat the victim (attempt to force the latter to pay ransom or forget about debts), - desire to kill suspects that may endanger one’s business, - attempt to exert pressure on certain individuals or to threaten them for their professional achievements (relates to, inter alia, attorneys and tax collectors).

Attack methods to be considered by security guards. Close range attack. It may be performed by means of utilization of: - firearms, - melee weapon (knife, bayonet, dagger), - chemical substance (for example: toxic substance, such as hydrochloric acid). There are no exceptional skills needed to successfully attack a person, as almost everybody can use a knife or a dagger to a satisfactory extent. The same goes with firearms, the utilization of which is as difficult as driving a car. The aforementioned types of weapons can be transported to the place of the assault with ease. The characteristic feature of this attack type is the fact that the wrongdoer is situated maximally several centimeters away from the victim. The difficulty here is directly connected with the inability to improvise the act. It must be preceded by a prolonged observation of the subject, learning his or her customs, daily routine, places he or she visits, and the protection type he or she uses. Only after drawing proper conclusions from the examination, can the terrorist attack the victim. Marek Papała, a police commissioner, was killed due to a close range attack in 1998, Warsaw.

Long-range attack – in this case firearms are often used, especially rifles and carbines. It is not an uncommon situation to learn about an attacker who has used a sniper rifle fitted with professional laser and optical aiming devices. The distance between the wrongdoer and the subject of the attack is commonly higher than 5 meters. The former must also be much more skilled than a close range attacker, as he has to be capable of utilizing a professional gun in an effective manner. The death of John Kennedy in Dallas on 22nd November 1963 was the result of the attack form in question. Lee Harvey Oswald, who was a former marine soldier, shot his subject from a storage located several meters away from president’s cavalcade. To perform the act, he used Mannlicher-Carcano, cal. 6.5 mm rifle. The proficiency of the attacker was proven by the fact that he fired three shots and only one of them missed the target.

Attack with explosives – it requires notable skills, for the wrongdoers has to build a bomb before performing the attack. He must also know how and where to plant the explosive, how to situate the fuse inside and where to detonate it. Such a person also has to be familiar with the effects of explosion. Assault on Margaret Thatcher on 12th October 1984 showed how patient and clever can an attacker taking advantage of explosives be. Patrick Magee, a member of Irish Republican Army, moved into the hotel where the British prime minister was expected to stay 24 days before the said fact. Every single day, he worked meticulously destroying the wall and placing a 50-kilogram explosive inside the hole. The bomb was then fitted with a timer. It exploded when Miss Thatcher was considered to wash herself in the bathroom – the attacker was perfectly acquainted with her customs. She would have died if she had not received a document to be read. The explosive was detonated five floors above the bathroom located in the apartment of the „Iron Lady”. Six other people died as a result, but the suspect managed to avoid the clever assassination.

If you are looking to hire close protection in London do not wait and contact us immiedletly for professional bodyguard services in London.
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2020.09.17 06:07 AutoModerator DAILY COVID-19 MEGATHREAD - September 17, 2020

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