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Welcome to Gettysburg (Day One)

Day Two Here
Day Three Here
Gettysburg is by far my favorite battle of all time.
First, it is an all-American battle in an all-American war, and myself being an old school nationalist it carries significance that other battles simply don’t; I may find Austerlitz or Stalingrad nifty, but nobody there was my people.
More, it was an extraordinarily clean fight. At any point, a soldier on either side could hurl down their rifle and grab some sky and be reasonably assured of having their surrender accepted without reservation, and for that matter their captor could rely on their new POWs to trudge back to the rear under light guard in good faith. Even though much of the fighting took place in an urban environment with embedded civilians, only one civilian died in the fighting. Let me tell you, the more military history you read up on, the clearer it is that massacring civilians before, during, and after a rough fight is par for the course. One might even say that butchering unarmed men, women and children of the enemy tribe is the de facto military objective more than half the time; it might be some weird, half instinctual, proto-game theory going on: “We told them to surrender or else. They didn’t surrender, we won anyway, and now there’s gotta be an ‘or else’ to persuade the next batch of holdouts that we mean business.” In the long run, butchering the first village usually made it morelikely the next three villages would get the message and surrender without a fight, saving the invaders men, materiel, and time. Or perhaps it’s that killing civilians has always been pure bloody-mindedness. But not at Gettysburg. Gettysburg is where the American platonic ideal of soldiers fighting soldiers and leaving the civilians be actually happened.
Another aspect to the battle that fascinates me is how utterly unplanned it was. Neither army had intended to fight there, and between the scale of the brawl, the rapidity of developments, the intransigence of their subordinates, and the communications lag, neither the Confederate general Lee nor the Union general Meade had a grip on the situation at all until the second day of the battle, and neither could enact their ideal plans until the third day. It was something of a clusterfuck for both sides, and the course of the battle depended on the initiative and guts of small unit commanders with little idea of what the big picture was.
Gettysburg tends to be remembered as the turning point in the war, when it stopped being a gallant passage at arms between roughly equal powers and started being a slow, painful inevitable grind towards Union victory. This is not exactly accurate; only with years of hindsight could anybody construct a narrative that framed this fight as the turning point, for at the time Gettysburg was seen as just another grisly slaughter yard in a long series of them. Still, between this fight and the conquest of Vicksburg out west, this does appear in hindsight to be the high watermark in terms of Confederate progress towards successful seccession. Certainly it was the last time any Confederate army went on the strategic offensive. For diehard secessionists (both during the war and in the years after), this was the last hurrah before the war started being truly hopeless.
It is also, I should mention, a place of spiritual significance for me. Myself being secular humanist with a vaccination against Protestantism from my younger days, I don’t have much in the way of codified religion. But when I was a youngin’ visiting relatives out east, I got to visit the battlefield. I found myself standing in front of a monument on the field on the north end of Herbst Wood (where the right flank of Iron Brigade stood and charged on the first day of the battle). It described how a Michigan regiment of about a thousand men stood on that spot and suffered two thirds casualties over the course of the day. I read the details on the monument, and stared up at the mustachioed rifleman staring defiantly to the west.
Looking left and right, I saw more monuments every fifty yards or so in a straightish line, spreading out to mark where a human line had once stood and bled. And I turned my back on the monuments to face away, and behold, I saw an opposing line of Confederate monuments stretched out horizon to horizon about a hundred yards away. Two lines, violently opposed but unmoving; courage and horror frozen into place forever. And the world there seemed very big, and very grand, and I felt very small and unworthy. The air was at once colder and hotter than any air I’d ever felt. The wind cut through my clothing and reminded me that flesh was mortal but spirit was eternal. This was holy ground, soil consecrated by blood. Shi’ite Muslims have Karbala. Catholics have the Road to Calvary. Australian aboriginals have Uluru. I have Gettysburg.
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BACKGROUND
A brief note- I will be including maps periodically to show the progression of the fighting. These maps must be taken with a grain or three of salt. They are intended to show relations between the armies and the terrain, not to mark the exact positions or dispositions of the units, nor to show an exact proportion of numbers involved. This is because I am not an expert mapmaker, and I thank you in advance for your understanding. First, a map of the northern part of the battlefield. Note how many roads lead there, and note the high ground of Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill to the south of the town.
The Battle of Gettysburg happened because Lee needed to go on the offensive, and Lee needed to go on the offensive because of the big picture. I shall cover the broad outline just so the significance doesn’t pass anybody by.
The Confederacy in the Spring of 1863 was in a terrible dilemma. The leadership had two urgent problems, either one of which could (if unaddressed) destroy their enterprise, and to make things worse they didn’t have the resources to solve either of them alone without a miracle.
One, the Union was fixing to shove yet another army down Richmond’s throat. Two years of failed invasions into Virginia had been brutal to both sides, but the North had immense reserves of cash, food, industrial output, and manpower with which to replenish themselves, and the South simply didn’t. The Army of Northern Virginia on which every invasion thus far had broken was underarmed, underfed, and undermanned, and if these issues were not fixed then they’d be seeing Union soldiers in the Confederate capitol before Autumn. There had already been a push that year, which Lee had staved off at Chancellorsville. There was plenty of time left before winter for a second attack.
And two, Vicksburg, the railway hub that sat on the Mississippi River, was under dire threat. The Union had already grabbed New Orleans at the south end and pushed north up the river, and had been pushing south down the river since day one of the war, but Vicksburg prevented the whole river from falling in to Union hands. Vicksburg alone let the South shift resources and information from its Western half to its Eastern half. Losing it could be a death blow. The garrison of Vicksburg was also underarmed, underfed, and undermanned.
The fresh crops taken off the farm and the fresh host of new recruits also taken off the farm were middling at best. Even throwing all the resources they had at either problem and letting the other develop as it would might mean losing on both fronts. Splitting the resources in half to prop up both didn’t seem promising either. Lee, being something of a strategist, developed a third option. There was no point (he reasoned) in trying to prop up Vicksburg at this point- it would take weeks to shift reinforcements that far west, and by then it would be midsummer. If the siege lasted that long, either the garrison would fold or disease would rip through the Yankee army and drive it back home, as it had the last two years running. In either scenario, further support would affect nothing. Therefore, he proposed a bold plan- don’t sit around waiting to get hit in the face. Invade north. Take the fight onto their turf.
The more the Confederate leadership considered it, the better it sounded. Northern land hadn’t been ravaged like Virginia had- it would be easy to live off of the enemy’s food for once, thus lessening the headache of their constant supply problems. It was also an election year, and the anti-war Democrats were raging at the ocean of blood and gold being wasted on bringing States back into the fold who very clearly wanted to go their own way. One good, solid victory on Northern soil could tip the balance, drive home the point that that war was unwinnable. Get the Black Republican warmonger Lincoln kicked out of the White House, get a reasonable Democrat in, and next year they just might get a negotiated peace that would lead in time to true and recognized independence.
To which end-
Lee snaked his newly reinforced army of about 75,000 men up through the Shenandoah Valley, using the mountain range to mask his movements instead of using to well-worn direct route that the Union was camped on. He would end up north of the bulk of the Army of the Potomac, simultaneously threatening Washington D.C., Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, which for a guy trying to score a symbolic victory to discourage the enemy voters put him in a pretty nice spot.
Lincoln freaked out, told Hooker and his Army of the Potomac to go out and beat Lee, to utterly destroy his army, and also not leave any weak point undefended, which are just the kind of orders one enjoys receiving. Hooker, having a bit of an ego and a poor history of getting his ass kicked by Lee, got into a feud with Lincoln’s advisors and impulsively offered his resignation as Commander of the Army of the Potomac following some stupid spat with the bean counters back in Washington. Lincoln called his bluff and fired him three days before the battle, putting General Meade in charge of the whole damn army with almost no prep time.
I should cut the narrative here to cast moral aspersions right quick. The Union were the good guys, and the Confederates were the villains. That said, the North made for really terrible heroes, and the South had more than its fair share of virtues. This was not a grand crusade of freedom-loving Yankees tearing down the moral abomination of human bondage. This was a brutal, no holds barred death struggle between the efficient new urban Industrial Revolution and the rural Cavalier latifundias. Only a smallish segment of New England Puritans and bleeding heart Quakers hated slavery on moral grounds- the rest of the North either hated it on financial grounds, didn’t give a fuck one way or another, or were actively supporting racial slavery. And on the flip side, most Southerners who fought in the war perceived quite accurately that outsiders were coming into their world to demand submission, and had decided to give these invaders the William Wallace treatment. This is a normal and admirable response that every healthy society should have in its toolbox, and in my not-even-slightly humble opinion it is a damn shame that so many people endured so much agony in support of so un-American a cause.
For you see, when Lee’s army reached Pennsylvania, they kidnapped every black person they could find, free or not, and sent them all south in chains. There was no attempt to ascertain their status by some legal due process, no splitting of hairs. The bare skeleton of Confederate ideology, the great Truth that would have snuffed out by continued political loyalty to the Union, had been that all men were not created equal. To be more precise, men had white skin, and anyone with black skin was not a man and did not have the rights of man. As such, anyone with black skin was to be sold into slavery and threatened with torture and death if they refused to labor in the cotton fields. The army that invaded the North was, in practice, the biggest slave-hunting gang that had ever set foot on American soil.
The side wearing grey were staunch defenders of a country based on the Ideal of Ethnic Supremacy, and the side wearing blue were fighting for a country based on the Ideal of Equality. There were a million nagging features of material reality in the South and the North that challenged both of these Ideals, but there were no Ideals to challenge these Ideals, save only for each other. We know that this is true, because as the war shifted away from a Federal attempt to rein in wayward states to an all out assault on the institution of slavery, more and more Northerners balked at the idea of dying to set niggers free; men who had fought for years to bring the rebels into the fold again threw down their rifles and went home in disgust after they heard of the Emancipation Proclamation. And as it became clearer that poor whites who never owned slaves were expected to die for plantation owners’ right to stay rich, fewer and fewer Southerners were willing to jump into the meat grinder feet first; many of them deserted to go home and form Unionist bushwhacker gangs instead. Speaking of the draft, a higher percentage of southerners dodged the Confederate draft than in Vietnam, yet Vietnam is remembered as a deeply unpopular war while the Lost Cause has painted the South as a unified bloc striving as one against the Yankee oppressor.
Also, the Confederacy had a draft imposed upon the states by its federal government. So, yeah, State's Rights. Tell me how that worked out.
To reiterate. Both sides are not the same. We are rooting for the Union. Slavery. Etc.
Pushing on-
The two armies surged northward, on parallel tracks with Lee on the west side of the Appalachians and Meade on the east side. Being critically low on recon drones and spy satellites, the only ways to find the enemy army was to send guys out on horseback to physically look at them before riding back, and to talk to locals whether they’d seen anyone wearing the other team’s uniform recently. Clouds of skirmishers, cavalrymen, and small detachments of infantrymen from either side scattered themselves in all directions, straining to catch a glimpse of the other army. The first side to locate the enemy, amass sufficient force, and maneuver against them would probably win, without regard for right or wrong.
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JULY 1st, 1863
Early Morning
General John Buford had a 2,500 strong brigade of cavalrymen patrolling southern Pennsylvania, being one of dozens of detachments sent out to find the enemy army. Using human intelligence from locals in Gettysburg, he learned that there was a column of rebel infantry marching down the Chambersburg Pike.
And indeed there was. Advance scouts from Buford’s brigade made visual contact with a column marching south towards Gettysburg. The ball was now rolling.
The story goes that the Confederates were looking for new shoes and heard that there was a stockpile in Gettysburg. As far as I can tell, this is a baseless legend- inspired by the true fact that the rebel army didn’t have enough shoes, but baseless nonetheless. The three Confederate commanders marching towards Gettysburg (Archer and Davis with a brigade apiece and Heth as division commander coordinating them), were simply doing what their counterpart was doing- reconnaissance in force, hoping to develop a lead for the rest of the army to follow. 7,000 infantry under Archer and Davis were about to pick a fight with 2,500 cavalrymen under Buford. The currents of this morning fight would provide the grooves for the next three days to follow.
Buford’s men fought as dragoons; the horse let you scoot around to where you need to go, but you got off it and fought on foot. They Union cavalry broke into tiny little four man teams to bloody the approaching Confederates’ noses. The terrain was a bushwhacker’s paradise- plenty of rocks and trees to hide behind, and plenty of low, rolling hills to speed off behind to break line of sight. One man would hold the horses while the other three crouch-ran forward under cover to pop off rounds into the enemy column from the sides of the road. When the enemy infantry redeployed from a fast moving but harmless column formation into a slow moving but dangerous line, the three shooters would run back to their buddy to mount up and retreat to a new position.
The cavalrymen were outnumbered nearly three to one, and their carbines had less range and power than the rebel rifles; then again, the terrain was working for them and their breechloading carbines could shoot much faster than the enemy’s muzzleloading long rifles. It was very close to being an fair fight, as long as the cavalry could stay mobile and keep their distance. Buford and Heth both had unclear, contradictory orders- “Push forward aggressively to locate the enemy, but do not enter into a general engagement until we know what we’re up against.” It was an order that must have made sense in the tent when Lee and Meade sent their own versions off. You wouldn’t want to force a battle until you knew the enemy’s location and disposition and the terrain you were going to be standing on, any more than you’d want bet it all on a poker hand before looking at your cards. But to the guys on the front line, it meant “charge forward, but do not charge forward. Attack, but do not engage. Show some initiative, but don’t pick a real fight.” Heth decided they were up against a skeleton crew of skirmishers, and he had orders to check out Gettysburg. He send riders back with a quick report and a request for reinforcements. Buford decided that if the whole damn rebel army was heading his way, he needed to delay their advance for as many hours as he could to give the rest of the Union army time to get to Gettysburg- the high ground south of the town looked like ideal terrain to fight from and he wanted his buddies to get there before the rebels. He too sent riders back with calls for help.
And meanwhile, the murderous, hazardous stalking of the rebel column continued as it trudged towards Gettysburg.
Meanwhile, in the Rear with the Gear
Imagine running a marathon- 26 miles and a bit from start to finish. That’s how spread out a Civil War army is, from vanguard to rear guard. You can’t really concentrate 75,000-100,000 people together that closely. Disease starts killing people off really fast, feeding everyone is a headache, and if you have to march out, the lead element will march all day before stopping for the night, while the rear element hasn’t even left camp yet. It’s unwieldy. So they all spread out to grab some real estate and forage easier and not choke on each others’ dust and crap.
The riders from the Chambersburg Pike were spreading the word through the marathon length of the armies. Units were halting, turning around. Captains and colonels and generals were consulting maps to figure out what roads to take to get south or north to Gettysburg from where they were now. Regiments were putting their heads to together to figure out whose company oughtta go in what order.
The movements were slow and and ungainly and awkward, but they were starting up.
Mid Morning to Noon
The rolling hills on either side of the Chambersburg Pike stopped at McPherson’s Ridge, a grand place to make a stand- plenty of cover, steep incline. In any case, there wasn’t much further to retreat to. Archer and David pushed the cavalrymen, Archer on the south side of the road and Davis on the north. Thoroughly annoyed infantrymen backed up on the Pike behind them, eager to get at the enemy but without frontage to occupy.
Buford dug in on McPherson’s Ridge, and the full force of Heth’s division slammed into him. Denied their mobility by the necessity of holding territory, the fair fight turned into a meat grinder for the dismounted cavalrymen. When Confederate artillery set up on Herr’s Ridge, it turned into a bloodbath.
Buford, at last, got in contact with somebody who outranked him. General John Reynolds, second in command of the whole Union army, rode ahead of his division to get eyes on the situation.
The two struck a deal in the middle of a firefight. Buford promised to hold to the last man, and Reynolds promised to reinforce him. It was an exercise in trust; if Buford’s men held firm and Reynolds let them down, they’d be swamped and slaughtered to a man, and if Buford’s detachment broke and scattered, Reynolds’ reinforcements would march directly into a line of hills held by an entrenched enemy force of equal size. Failure on either side would be fatal. Reynolds rode south again, leaving Buford and his dwindling cavalrymen to fend off 10% of the Confederate army all alone.
Meanwhile, Buford’s thin line was cracking. Outnumbered, outgunned, and unable to advance or retreat... That which was inevitable to start with was happening now. Davis’ brigade was pressing against Oak Ridge on the Union right, and Archer's was taking Herbst Woods tree by tree. Buford’s men were giving ground they couldn’t afford to lose. Confederate artillery was blasting giant holes in the ranks of the defenders.
That’s when the relief came- two fresh brigades of infantry coming up the Emmitsburg road, under generals Cutler and Meredith. Cutler got there first, taking up positions on Oak Ridge and straddling either side of the Pike with cannons. Their massive volleys disrupted Confederate momentum and silenced some of the rebels’ big guns as everyone scrambled for cover. Grateful and exhausted cavalrymen sidled off to the flanks to safety. Meredith’s brigade is still lagging behind- that’s the problem with columns, only the guys in front can do anything.
If Buford and Reynolds expected everything to be right in the world once reinforcements arrived, they were very much mistaken. Those men out there attacking up Oak Ridge were some of the finest infantrymen in the world- dedicated, disciplined, contemptuous of death. They did not stop being efficient killers just because they now fought peers instead of the hornet-like cavalry skirmishers. Cutler’s brigade was facing a small tidal wave of battle-maddened Southern veterans, and had no time to dig in and situate themselves before the moment of impact. Davis’ men ripped into them like a pack of starving wolves. Cutler’s men fell back to safety on the top of Oak Ridge. In pieces.
Meanwhile, Meredith’s brigade was finally in position to retake Herbst Woods on the south side of the road.
Now, Meredith’s brigade were the absolute elite of the Union army. They were the grizzled veterans, the old crew, the best drilled, the most experienced, the hardest of the hard. They were nicknamed the Iron Brigade, and the Black Hat Brigade, because they were authorized to wear dashing black foraging caps to signify their status as the best of the best. With their comrades north of the road falling back, it was imperative that the Black Hat Brigade protect their left flank. To which end, Reynolds frantically snapped orders for them to line up and charge Archer’s men who were occupying Herbst Wood.
Their charge was met by a storm of musket fire that churned the Iron ranks into blood and guts. But this was the Black Hat Brigade. For them, taking ten percent casualties in a single minute was just another Tuesday. They got in close to the rebel line to return the volleys with a vengeance, and then charged with the bayonet. Archer’s men saw the distinctive black hats come for them through the musket-smoke. For the first time, they realized that these were no mere cavalry skirmishers, no half-assed militia company facing them. The best of the best of the Army of the Potomac was coming at them at terrifyingly close range. Archer’s men cracked and scattered. The ones who stood firm, died. The ones who threw down their rifles and grabbed sky were allowed to live as prisoners. The ones who ran, lived, but found the Iron Brigade hot on their heels. Meredith’s elites carved through Archer’s brigade like it wasn’t even there.
Reynolds was a good leader. A great one, in fact. He was decisive, experienced, competent. Many thought he should have gotten command instead of Meade. As his men retook Herbst Wood, he turned behind him to check on how close reinforcements were, some rebel rifleman did his cause a world of good, and shot Reynolds in the back of the head.
Now the situation got pretty weird- Davis’ brigade had kicked the shit out of Cutler’s brigade and was pursuing them on the north side of the road, and the Iron Brigade had kicked the shit out of Archer’s brigade and was pursuing them on the south side of the road. Neither victor was aware of what had happened across from them, and soon enough they would pass each other by almost touching the edges of their lines. The first one to figure out what was happening would get to win.
As it so happened, General Doubleday (in command now that Reynolds was dead) saw the danger and the opportunity first. He broke off an Iron regiment from his reserve to swoop in and protect the flank just in time, setting them up in a defensive stance facing the road. That regiment was joined by another broken off from the Iron assault, and yet another from Cutler’s brigade, who had seen the maneuvering and joined in on its own initiative. It was like a ballet, all three regiments coalescing into a single front facing north across the road, as though they’d spent the last week rehearsing. Under their protection, the rest of the Black Hats gave chase to their prey.
When Davis finally turned and attacked, they were chopped down by a mass of highly accurate fire from the newly entrenched men. Confederates died by the dozens and were maimed by the score. As they reloaded, the Black Hats were astonished to find that the whole Confederate brigade vanish into thin air, like magic. The firing stopped; no more targets. It was bizarre.
The three regiments advanced cautiously. And were gutted by a close range surprise volley by the hidden Confederates as they tried to scale the fences on either side of the Pike.
It turns out that there was a cut in the side of road, deep enough for a man to jump down into with only his head able to peek out. Davis’ men had leapt into it as a source cover when the firefight started and found it was a grand place to shoot out of. But it was also a death trap. Once the Union regiments figured it out, they got in close enough to fire blindly down at point blank range into the milling mass of men.
Davis’ men surrendered, thousands of them all at once. Unable to move, unable shoot back, it was really the only choice. And with that, the first round of Gettysburg was over. Oak Ridge and Herbst Wood had held, and about 150,000 odd soldiers were converging on Gettysburg to shift the tide of war this way and that.
AFTERNOON
The rest of the first day was not free of drama, and heroics, and mass suffering. But it was free of surprises. The iron laws of physics had decreed that more Confederate units would be on hand for the fighting in the afternoon, and so it was. Fresh rebel troops swept down from the north and from the west, relieving their exhausted comrades and preparing themselves to assault Oak Ridge and Herbst Woods. Fresh Union troops arrived from the south to reinforce what they had and to extend their line out east, protecting their right flank and screening off the town itself.
Hours passed without a shot being fired. Everybody was reorganizing themselves, resupplying, carting the wounded to the rear to let the surgeons saw their shattered limbs off. Two small things happened that delivered a Confederate victory on day one, and a Union victory on day three. Union General Barlow pushed his brigade out to occupy Blocher's hill, and Union General Steinwehr plopped two of his brigades on top of Cemetery Hill. The first created a huge gap in the Union right, and the second secured the invaluable high ground for the rest of the battle.
Meanwhile, three Confederate divisions set themselves up for a concerted attack- Heth would press into Herbst Wood on the Union left, Rodes would assault Oak Ridge at the center, and Early would swoop down the Harrisburg road to threaten the Union right. When the big push came at around 2 p.m., it was badly organized and mismanaged. Southern commanders couldn't get it together and attack at the same time. Individual units charged at Oak Ridge alone, like a mob of Hollywood henchmen attacking the hero only to be smacked around one by one. Cutler's men didn't just fight them off; it was closer to mass murder. General O'Neal's brigade swooped down off of Oak Hill only to be cut down by musketry and cannon fire, and they did it without O'Neal, because O'Neal stayed in the rear while his men died. When O'Neal's brigade fell back having suffered heavy losses, Cutler shifted his men to greet the new threat from Iverson's brigade, who also charged without their commander. Iverson's men marched in parade perfect order across open ground, without so much as a molehill for cover. The story goes that during the assault, Iverson looked out from safety and saw half his men lying down on the ground. Iverson was pissed off because he thought his men were surrendering. In fact, he was watching his brigade die in droves.
The issue wasn't morale. The Confederate troops were eager to get at the enemy. The problem was purely organizational in nature. The men in charge of telling people what to do were simply too confused and disoriented to work out the solution in real time. While O’Neal and Iverson were getting bloodied, Barlow’s men on Blocher Hill were getting slaughtered. Barlow’s desire to hold the high ground on the defense was understandable- high ground being a grand place to fight from- but he was about one mile ahead of any friendly units. This meant that it was trivially easy to flank and destroy his brigades.
Georgia men under generals Early and Rodes linked up to flank and destroy Barlow’s isolated brigades. A thick stream of filthy, bloody, and terrified Union men flowed back to the town of Gettysburg, leaving a gaping hole in the Union line and spreading their panic like the plague. Victorious Confederates whooped and hollered. As the men to the north of town trade massacres- the failed assault on Oak Ridge being roughly balanced by the disastrous dissolution of Barlow’s brigades- Heth finally attacked the Iron Brigade still occupying Herbst Wood in the west. He’d been delaying it all afternoon, stymied by the contradictory orders from Lee. Lee, who was several miles away and not at all in touch with the situation, still wanted to avoid a general engagement. But now, Heth has been let off the chain to avenge Archer’s brigade.
Heth’s full division attacked Herbst Wood. It was a slow, hot, gory fight. The attacking rebels are aggressive, but also methodical and well-organized. The Black Hats made them pay for every tree they seized. But there’s only one outcome for a fight like this.
The Iron Brigade has the ghastly honor of having the highest casualty ratio of any Civil War brigade, North or South. Out of the 1,885 men in their ranks that morning, 1,153 (61%) were be dead or maimed by nightfall on the first day. The fates of individual units from within the brigade are even more gruesome- in the 2nd Wisconsin regiment, 397 out of 496 (80%) were killed or wounded. But despite the horrific losses, they didn’t break. They gave ground slowly and in good order, but they gave ground nonetheless. Iron does not break, but it does bend.
By late afternoon, the dominoes fell as they were always going to. With the debacle at Blocher’s Knoll, any hope the Union had to hold the right was lost. The Black Hats were being ground into sawdust on the left. And Rodes has finally gotten his brigades to charge at the same time, overwhelming Cutler’s defense.
Every Union man was running now, some in a blind panic, some withdrawing in good order like professionals.
The open field battle turned into urban warfare as the Confederates chased the Union army through the streets of Gettysburg. Companies blocked the streets to hold off the enemy advance long enough for the comrades to scamper. Marksmen played sniper games in the windows, either shooting men in the back as they ran away or ambushing overly aggressive platoons, depending on the color of their uniform.
The Union men were desperate to reach Cemetery Hill, south of the town. High ground and the reinforcements already stationed there promised safety. The Confederates were just as desperate to catch them first and seize that invaluable terrain for themselves.
Nightfall
A great deal of “woulda coulda shoulda” ink has been spilled over the orders that Lee gave to General Ewell, the man in charge of Rodes and Early: “Take Cemetery Hill if practical”. But Ewell saw two brigades with a lot of artillery standing on top of what appeared to be a natural fortress designed by God to repel infantry, and his men were exhausted to boot. Ewell decided it was not practical, and so did not try. Just one of those things, I expect.
In any case, the day was a Confederate victory. Every spot on the map the Confederate troops wanted to go, they had went. They had crushed all resistance, had even gone toe to toe with the cream of the Army of the Potomac and won. Their enemies were in flight before them.
There was, possibly, a certain amount of disquiet because the enemy had merely been driven from one ridge into another ridge, one even steeper and with more cover than the last. And rumor had it the rest of the Army of the Potomac was coming at them.
But that was a problem for the next day.
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Feverish MPs turn their eyes to Crean

Feverish MPs turn their eyes to Crean submitted by MeadowbankMujahideen to australia [link] [comments]

Labor MPs who are backing the return of Kevin Rudd as Labor leader are split over whether to take on Prime Minister Julia Gillard in the next two days.

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Members Day Update - Vetoed

Salutations and welcome to the last Members day before the winter recess. This also is the first members day since the new Parliament website went live.
How the Day Unfolded
Bills Introduced
Amy Adams (National - Selwyn), the Minister for Communications, introduced The Telecommunications (Property Access and Other Matters) Amendment Bill
This Bill seeks to reduce compliance costs for Telecommunications Development Levy payers by addressing identified issues with the liability allocation process. In a press release Ms Adams stated:
New Zealanders are hungry for better connectivity and it’s frustrating that they’re experiencing unnecessary delays or problems caused by neighbour disputes or unanswered queries. The Telecommunications (Property Access and Other Matters) Bill will make it simpler and quicker for New Zealanders with shared property access to get the benefits of faster broadband wherever they live or work,”
“Around 250,000, or 17 per cent, of UFB orders will need permission for access to property shared between neighbours, such as shared driveways or in apartment buildings. This causes delays when there are problems with getting permission from neighbours.
“By introducing simpler consenting rules we’ll help speed up the installation of UFB to properties where consent from a neighbour is required.”
Under the changes, a tiered consent regime will provide two new categories of simplified approvals according to the impacts the fibre installation are considered to have on the property. Those outside these two categories will continue to require consent of all affected owners as currently occurs.
12 Questions to Ministers were answered
There was an interesting point of order raised with question 11 The question was what is the process of holding ministers to account when the portfolio – in this case the portfolio of “Minister for the Rugby World Cup" – ceases to exist. The Speaker resolved to look further into it but generally it was resolved that if there is still a fiscal appropriation there will be an alternate Minister attached to it via the budget or the matter could by addressed to the Prime Minister.
The General Debate was held
Call Member Party Seat Topic
1 Meteria Turei Greens List Poverty, Hardship & The State of the Nation #changethegovt
2 Hon. Maggie Barry National North Shore Ramifications of Brexit and trade for New Zealand in the 21st century
3 Jacinda Ardern Labour List The global state of politics - Brexit, Trump etc and its relationship to wealth inequality
4 Hon. Nicky Wagner National Christchurch Central Political stability and the growth of the New Zealand economy
5 Su'a William Sio Labour Mangere Homelessness, Wealth Inequality and racial inequity #changethegovt
6 Dr Kennedy Graham Greens List Report of the Ombudsman into the Rebstock Inquiry.
7 Rt Hon. Winston Peters New Zealand First Northland Silver Fern Farms and Overseas Investment
8 Simon O'Connor National Tamaki Brexit and the rise of populism at the expense of fact
9 Matt Doocey National Waimakariri Education in Waimakariri
10 Rino Tirikatene Labour Te Tai Tonga Wealth inequality, which Disney film the government would be, #changethegovt
11 Maureen Pugh National List Agriculture exports, TPPA and the economy and government investment into West Coast Tasman
12 Fletcher Tabuteau New Zealand First List TPPA and the Government's financial accounts
Transcript of the debate
Although most of the speeches were toeing the party line, speech number 8 by Simon O’Connor stood out. It looked at the rise of populism and the effect this has had on the presence of fact in debate. It was an academic speech rather than the usual point scoring one finds in the general debate.
Private and Local Orders of the Day
  • The Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Act Repeal Bill which is being lead by Hon. Nicky Wagner (National - Christchurch Central) passed its second reading. This bill will repeal the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Act 2002, which is now spent. The Health select committee recommended the bill be agreed to and reported it back without amendment.
Member’s Orders of the Day
On other threads some questions have been asked around whether this bill could (or should) result in the fall of the government. The answer is no.
The basis for these claims is that this bill enables authority for money to be spent (supply) and therefore because the government has lost control of supply the government can no longer stand. The problem with this is that this bill is not a supply bill. Yes the bill directs the Crown to allocate funds for the purpose of Paid Parental Leave but in the constitutional sense “supply” refers to a few key bills that are passed at certain points in the Parliamentary financial year which runs from 1 July to 30 June.
  • The Appropriation (supplementary estimates ) Bill
  • The Appropriation (Estimates) Bill – also known as the budget
  • An Imprest Supply Bill
There are normally three Appropriation Acts. The first authorises the expenditure specified in the main estimates, the second authorises the expenditure specified in the supplementary estimates, and the third validates any unappropriated expenditure that may have occurred in the financial year. The Third bill is retrospective and is passed after the conclusion of the financial year.
Imprest supply acts confer general authority to incur public expenditure. Usually two or three Imprest supply bills are passed each year – in fact on Tuesday 28 June the first Imprest Supply Bill for 2016/2017 was passed aswell as the Appropriation (2015/2016 Supplementary Estimates) Bill.
These bills confer spending authority to the Crown and not enabling authority.
All bills that are supply bills are automatically matters of confidence.
  • So why do we have a veto?
The answer can be found on page 122 of Bridled Power:
The veto was introduced in recognition of the longstanding constitutional conventions surrounding the Crown’s financial initiative - that it is for the Crown, not ordinary Members of Parliament, to propose expenditure increases. The Parliamentary rules surrounding this were inconsistent (eg. Ordinary MPs could propose reductions in tax). The Standing Orders Committee developed a procedure designed to enable the government to retain control over the fiscal aggregates while allowing members an opportunity to propose initiatives involving minor amounts of expenditure that does not affect the overall integrity of the government’s budget or the governments forecast financial position.
  • Could the government have fallen had the vote proceeded?
No.
The only way that could of happened was if John Key had indicated that the vote on this bill would be a vote of confidence in his government. Given that he didn’t (and wouldn’t of done so) then the government losing the vote would not have changed anything. The government has lost plenty of votes (particularly on member’s days) and even in 1996 a government bill was defeated but because this bill was not a matter of confidence its defeat merely caused frustration for the government and not constitutional upheaval.
  • The govt removed the provision for the veto in the Constitution Act – Doesn’t this mean that the veto is unconstitutional/ shouldn’t exist?
This question crops up from a blog post on the constitutional grounds for the veto. The answer is no. In fact the reason the veto was removed from the Constitution Act was because Parliament found that to have both a legislative means of veto and a statutory means of veto would create an unnecessary double up and actually raised its own constitutional concerns. As such, Parliament removed the veto from the Constitution act in a Statutes Amendment Bill. The reason why the veto still exists despite the lack of statute is the idea of Parliamentary Sovereignty. Parliament is master of its own kingdom and it follows its own rules as established by standing orders. In the standing orders we find the right of the veto and as such presuming the appropriate steps are followed the veto can be successfully exercised. Although there certainly are grounds for complaint that the bill was likely to pass.
  • The Official Information (Parliamentary Under-Secretaries) Amendment Bill in the name of Adrian Rurawhe (Labour - Te Tai Hauāuru) was read a third time. New Zealand First continued its opposition to the bill and as such the bill passed 109 – 12. This bill ensures that information held by Parliamentary Under-Secretaries in their official capacity is official information, and subject to the Official Information Act 1982. It now goes to the Governor General for royal assent.
  • The Keep Kiwibank Bill which is now in the name of Hon. David Parker (Labour – list) but was previously submitted by Hon. Clayton Cosgrove (Labour – list) failed at second reading 60 – 61. The bill proposed that any proposal to partly or wholly privatise Kiwibank would require the support of 75% of all members of the House of Representatives or, alternatively, the support of a majority of voters in a referendum, in order to lawfully proceed. A supplementary order paper was lodged that would have removed the 75% supermajority and replaced it with a simple majority vote as well as other rules of transferring share ownership.
  • The first reading debate on the Overseas Investment (Protection of New Zealand Homebuyers) Amendment Bill resumed and failed 60-61. This bill would have amended the Overseas Investment Act 2005 to apply new restrictions on non-resident purchasers of New Zealand residential properties in order to better protect New Zealand homebuyers. It was supported by Phil Twyford (Labour – Te Atatu)
Biscuit Tin of Democracy
As eight bills are still awaiting their first reading debate on the order paper there will be no ballot.
Psephology Spotlight
Concluded elections
  • As we all know the United Kingdom referendum on departing the European Union happened. The final votes were 17,410,742 in favour of leaving to 16,141,241 wanting to remain. 25,359 votes were declared invalid. Of those 25,000 votes 9084 were declared invalid as the voter voted both yes and no. Breaking down the areas where double voting was greatest it seems are areas with large foreign populations like Tower Hamlets, Luton and Newham so this suggests a possible issue with language or alternately people who just couldn’t decide one way or the other.
  • As expected Guðni Th. Jóhannesson won the Icelandic presidency with 39.1% of the vote. Mr Johannesson is a historian and university lecturer and will be sworn into office on the 1st of August. Of note is that 10% of the population of Iceland was out of the country on polling day because they were spectating the Euro 2016 football match. Guðni is opposed to membership of the European Union and promises included vowing to "modernise political life" and giving voters a chance at direct democracy initiatives.
  • Spain attempted to break their legislative deadlock with their second ballot. In the end the centre right Peoples Party once again won the plurality of votes and gained 14 seats but still lacked a majority. Turnout was down 3% to 69%. There still is no clear winner from the result as the People’s Party lack the support partners to get them across the line. The opposition and government are both trying to woo regional parties to see if they can coble together enough votes to win a confidence motion. The politicians are optimistic that the deadlock may be broken sooner rather than later. However it seems that voters are pessimistic with betting outlets running odds on a third election.
Future Elections
  • Australia finally ends the longest campaign in Australian history by going to the polls this Saturday (July 2). In a typical election the whole House of Representatives as well as half the senate is up for election BUT this is no ordinary election. Malcolm Turnbull called for a double dissolution election after the senate repeatedly blocked the government’s legislation.
The double dissolution is a constitutional measure that puts the entire Senate and House up for election. If, after the election, the legislation that triggered the double dissolution is still not passed by the two houses, then a joint sitting of the two houses of parliament can be called to vote on the legislation. If the legislation is passed by the joint sitting, then the legislation is deemed to have passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Only once in 1974 has a joint sitting occurred. Double dissolutions are relatively rare, this one is the 7th to have occurred. The most recent one was in 1987 when Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke called one after the Senate rejected his proposal for an “Australia Card” which was a national identification card. After the election Hawke still lacked the numbers in the senate and after a drafting technicality was discovered which would have rendered the bill unenforceable dropped the bill.
Polls close at 6pm (8 pm New Zealand time). For those who want to watch the coverage I’d recommend the ABC live stream and results page – the geoblock will be removed on election night. Alternately if you have sky you can catch all the action on sky news- channel 85.
Political polls indicate the Liberal government is likely to be returned albeit with a slim majority. But given Brexit going against opinion polling and the surge of the Nick Xenophon Team in South Australia and the return of several high profile independents, including one who may unseat the Deputy Prime Minister, election night may be a nail biter and yield a hung parliament or a surprise Labor government.
  • The small pacific island nation of Nauru will elect 19 members of their legislature. The voting system of Nauru uses the the Dowdall System, a decimalised modification of a preferential Borda count. The voter must rank all candidates in order of preference. Each vote is then counted using the formula 1/n, according to ranking order. For example, a candidate ranked first receives one point, the second candidate receives half a point, the third candidate receives a third of a point, and so on. Each legal vote is aggregated in order to determine a decimal score for each candidate. For example, in the Nauruan parliamentary election in June 2010 the then president Marcus Stephen regained his Anetan Constituency seat after receiving 349.617 decimal votes from a total of 630 votes. All members elected are non partisan.
  • Under pressure from opposition forces that have branded his accession to power two years ago illegal and unconstitutional, Raul Khajimba, the de facto president of Georgia's breakaway Republic of Abkhazia, has scheduled for July 10 a referendum on whether or not to hold an early presidential election.
  • On August 7 Thai voters will vote on a new proposed constitution. The main proposal is that the Senate will become a fully appointed chamber rather than a partially elected one. This is seen as an effort by the National Council for Peace and Order, which will have the right to appoint its 250 members, to retain influence once it has left office. Furthermore, the Senate will have veto power over the House of Representatives for a five year period. The document will also allow for the possibility of a Prime Minister from outside either house.
Fact of the Day – Australia and Compulsory Voting
Often there are three things that will see Australia brought up in discussion. 1) Their gun control policies 2) The wildlife 3) Compulsory voting
The Australian Electoral Commission has a rather detailed paper which you can view here -PDF but luckily the Australian Broadcasting Commission have summarised it for us.
In 1915, Queensland became the first jurisdiction in the British Empire to introduce compulsory voting, apparently after the then Liberal government became concerned that Australian Labor Party shop stewards were more effective at "getting out the vote".
The new Commonwealth of Australia was slower to act.
Despite the advocacy of future prime minister Alfred Deakin around the turn of the 20th century, voluntary voting remained in place for the first nine elections.
The significant impetus for compulsory voting at federal elections appears to have been a decline in turnout from more than 71 per cent at the 1919 election to less than 60 per cent at the 1922 election.
In 1924, a private member's bill was passed into law amending the Electoral Act to allow compulsory voting.
It had an almost immediate impact, with turnout at the 1925 poll rising to over 91 per cent.
Within two decades, all state parliaments in Australia had adopted compulsory voting.
In 1962, the Commonwealth Electoral Act gave Aboriginal people the right to enrol and vote at federal elections on a voluntary basis. It took until 1984 for enrolment and voting to be made compulsory for all eligible voters.
In 1996, the federal parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters recommended compulsory voting be repealed.
But the Labor and Democrat members of the committee did not support the recommendation, and the Howard government chose not to pursue it.
There are currently 26 countries with compulsory voting. But unlike Australia, not all enforce punishment. There is a perception that compulsory voting favours the left and indeed a study of a Swiss canton where compulsory voting was enforced found that compulsory voting significantly increased electoral support for leftist policy positions in referendums by up to 20 percentage points. While some research on compulsory voting in Australia found that it increased the vote shares and seat shares of the Australian Labor Party by 7 to 10 percentage points and led to greater pension spending at the national level. Modelling of voluntary voting at elections has been hampered by inadequate data. Views vary from the Liberal Party increasing its share of the two-party preferred vote by about 5%, thereby gaining a significant advantage, to more modest increases for the Liberal Party and the Greens and decreases for independents, the Nationals and, to a lesser extent, the Australian Labor Party.
Parties would behave differently in a voluntary voting regime, so it is difficult to form conclusions derived from existing data. On balance, there is no empirical evidence that a move to voluntary voting would advantage one major party over another.
So what happens if you don’t vote?
Within three months of an election, Divisional Returning Officers will send penalty notices to apparent non-voters. Those who have died, or were travelling overseas on election day can be spared from this process.
Those who receive notices can choose to pay the $20 penalty, elect to be prosecuted, or offer a valid and sufficient reason for not voting.
In other jurisdictions the penalties are more severe. In Singapore those who fail to vote are removed from the list of eligible voters. This means they are unable to vote in future elections. It also means that the voter is automatically disqualified from running as a candidate in any election. A voters name will be restored if they were either:
  • Working overseas (including being on a business trip) at the time of the poll
  • Studying overseas at the time of the poll
  • Living with your spouse who is working or studying overseas
  • On an overseas vacation
  • illness, or delivering a baby
If a voters reason is deemed invalid, they will have to pay a S$50 fee in order to get their name restored.
In North Korea compulsory voting is used as a tool to monitor the populace and considering only one candidate appears on the ballot failing to vote correctly leads to repercussions.
Arguments for compulsory voting stem around the idea of legitimacy, civic duty and the government reflecting the will of the people. If everyone has to vote, then the parties have to generate policies that cover the whole of the electorate and not just those that do vote.
But there are also many arguments put forward by opponents to compulsory voting: it is undemocratic to force people to vote, ill-informed people are forced to the polls, it may increase the number of informal and "donkey votes", and it leads to the creation of many safe, single-member electorates, allowing parties to direct their resources to just a few marginal seats. Additionally all of those who voted, did so because they wanted to vote and had given consideration to their choices. – Quality is better than quantity.
Regardless of where Australians stand on compulsory voting it seems parliament is uninterested in change. Perhaps one cynical reason is that political parties are funded at $2.63 per vote they receive so introducing optional voting would cut off a rather deep trough of public money. However, this money can prove a godsend for smaller political parties that don't have the donor base nor resources of the coalition or labor so can be seen to be beneficial as well.
Since the implementation of compulsory voting in Australia turnout in federal elections has never dropped below 90% something that civic leaders gaze upon with envy and amazement.
Standing Order of the Day – SO 25 - Vacancy in Speakership
(1) When, during the term of Parliament, the office of Speaker becomes vacant, the Clerk reports the vacancy to the House at its next sitting and the House proceeds to the election of a Speaker as prescribed in Standing Orders 15 to 21.
(2) After electing a Speaker, the House adjourns until the next sitting day. The Speaker-Elect seeks the Governor-General’s confirmation as Speaker before the next sitting of the House.
Local Elections are coming
Elections for Mayors, Councils, Community Boards, Regional Council and District Health Boards will be held on 8 October.
This election will be via Postal vote after a possible internet voting trial was scrapped. Only those correctly enrolled by Friday 12 August 2016 will get their voting papers for the 2016 local elections sent to them in the mail.
Voting papers will be sent out from 16 September and must be received by the electoral officer by noon on Election Day, 8 October 2016.
Enrolling or updating your details is easy - go online at elections.org.nz, freetext your name and address to 3676, call 0800 36 76 56 or go to any PostShop.
If you want to nominate as a candidate you have until 12 August to submit your papers. For more information visit your council website or consult Vote 2016
The next members day is expected to be on August the 10th
To see the Order Paper Click Here To see business currently before Select Committee Click Here To see past Members Day Updates Click Here
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MASSIVE marijuana news link thread - We are winning It's totally Happening Victory edition!

There has been so much happening so fast on the legal front as of late, I thought I'd compile a bunch of links together just to show the progress. Almost all of these are from this month. Every single link is good news. Progress is happening EVERYWHERE. We are winning and it's awesome. Edit: thanks for the gold, stranger.
Washington - legal sales started just a couple weeks ago - things seem to be going ok, with the main problem being that stores are running out of product! The supply situation should work itself out over time, and more stores are always opening so that will help too. For the latest, follow the tastefully named blog from the Seattle Times or the more bluntly named blog from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Oregon - full legalization qualifies for the ballot November 2014. A poorly written initiative failed in 2012, but things look more promising this time.
Alaska will also have full legalization on the November ballot. Alaska Ents be sure to vote yes on Measure 2!
New York Times editorial board calls for legalization. They're running a six part series this week about the issue, here is today's entry.
Harris County, Texas DA candidate calls for no arrest for marijuana. Harris County is the home of Houston, and the most populous county in Texas with more than 4 million people. She's the Democratic nominee for DA, and considering the county's leftward lean, has decent odds of winning. Edit: Here's an interview with the candidate, Kim Ogg.
Florida voters support medical marijuana by a 9 to 1 margin - Medical is on the November '14 ballot in FL and requires 60% of the vote to pass.
Efforts are underway in Oklahoma to get both medical marijuana and full recreational legalization on the ballot for November 2014. Each initiative requires 156,000 signatures to get on the ballot. The medical petition has about 100,000 signatures so far. Even if not successful, the two petitions have inspired several thousand young people to register to vote.
DEA losing the war on marijuana politics. Aww, isn't that just so sad. It's tough being on the wrong side of history.
Louisiana Bar Association advocates for reduced marijuana sentences. Currently, Louisiana has some of the toughest marijuana laws in the country. A second offense for marijuana possession is a felony.
Political prisoner Marc Emery will be released from jail after serving his five year sentence. A 30 city tour in Canada is planned to celebrate his release. His estimated return is between August 10 and 25. In his latest blog post, Marc said that "I can't wait to get home to thank you all in person in the weeks and months ahead, and resume the unfinished battle to finish off marijuana prohibition with renewed vigour."
Washington DC reduces penalty for marijuana possession to $25 - it used to be $1,000 and up to 6 months in jail. The new fine for small-time pot possession is lower than the $75 penalty for littering and the $50 punishment for drivers who park too close to city fire hydrants.
Campaign to legalize in DC turns in more than twice the required signatures to get on the ballot in November. Unless something tremendously unexpected happens, Washington D.C. residents will likely get a chance to vote on cannabis legalization on Election Day. Recent polls show 63% support re-legalization.
Looks like the country of Colombia may also legalize. The liberal party there is supporting a bill that would do exactly that.
Efforts are underway in 18 Michigan municipalities to reduce penalties for marijuana. Signatures are being gathered to get the issue on the ballot this year. The deadline for signatures is today, so sign up if you're local. Similar ballot initiatives have already succeeded in Detroit, Flint, and Grand Rapids over the past couple years.
spuıɟ ןןod 'ɐuɐnظıɹɐɯ ןɐɔıpǝɯ ʇɹoddns suɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ ɟo spɹıɥʇ oʍʇ ʎןɹɐǝu
In New Mexico, activists are seeking to place a pair of decriminalization measures on the municipal ballots in Albuquerque and in Santa Fe. Penalties for possession will be no more than $25 if the measures pass.
US Sentencing Commission agrees to apply sentence reductions retroactively, meaning that up to 46,000 prisoners could get reduced sentences for their drug-related crimes.
Kentucky's hemp crop is doing great - The DEA confiscated their seeds at first, but "“We’ve got a really good process with the DEA now.” The 75 year federal ban on hemp production was ended when Mitch McConnell of all people inserted language into the farm bill allowing for it.
Man buys Colorado prison, wants to turn it into marijuana factory - the symbolism there is beautiful.
Illinois medical marijuana program expanded, now covers epilepsy.
Minnesota became the 22nd state to legalize medical marijuana. However, the law is unnecessarily restrictive, not allowing the smoking of marijuana leaves. Only the use of pills, oils, or vaporizing of a cannabis compound through a device similar to an e-cigarette is allowed.
US House votes to allow marijuana-related banking. The 236-186 vote rejected a move by Rep. John Fleming, R-La., to block the Treasury Department from implementing guidance it issued in February telling banks how to report on their dealings with marijuana-related businesses without running afoul of federal money-laundering laws. 46 mostly GOP moderates and libertarian-tilting Republicans joined with all but seven Democrats to beat back Fleming's attempt to block the Treasury guidance.
House of Representatives told the DEA to butt out of medical marijuana states by approving a budget amendment barring the use of taxpayer funds to do so. This is HUGE and historic and very important, but it also needs to be approved by the Senate and signed by the President to become law.
Advocates for medical marijuana in Arkansas came up about 11,000 signatures short for adding the issue to the ballot in 2014, but they're going to try again in 2016. If they get enough signatures, passage looks like a good bet, considering a similar initiative came up 2 percentage points short in 2012.
Medical marijuana inches closer to reality in Pennsylvania - delayed until the fall session though.
A number of states have enacted laws permitting Charlotte's Web style marijuana to treat seizures. These states include Utah, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Missouri. These laws tend to be extremely limited, but they are all a step in the right direction. A bill to legalize this form of marijuana on a national basis was just introduced yesterday by Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA).
Fear not, Missouri Ents! Activists plan to have marijuana legalization initiative on the ballot in 2016
Speaking of 2016, you can also expect ballot initiatives that November for full legalization in California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Arizona, Maine, and Montana. More than 62 million people would have access to legal marijuana if these initiatives were to pass.
It's a great time to be alive. Thanks for reading!
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The Shadows of Erik Prince: Peter Thiel and Trump-Russia

Erik Prince keeps popping up in the Trump-Russia investigation, but is always elusive. In this post I detail the many ways Prince associates, his “shadows”, have instigated the Trump-Russia scandal.
Erik Prince's link to Palantir: Buzzy Krongrad
In 2001, after terrorists flew planes into New York City’s World Trade Center, Prince called up Buzzy Krongard of the CIA (1) and attained Blackwater’s first contract with the US military, sending Prince right into the center of the War on Terror in Afghanistan (2) where he worked for both the CIA (3) and JSOC (4), the later commanded by General Stanley McChrystal (5).
Krongard later joined the board of Blackwater in 2006, only to step down embroiled in a scandal the following year (6)(7).
While working at the CIA, Buzzy created a subdivision called Information Technologies (8) that spawned In-Q-Tel, a CIA-backed venture capital firm seeking to invest in the rapidly advancing tech industry. Buzzy currently sits on its board of Trustees (9). In 2005, In-Q-Tel invested into Palantir (10).
  1. http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/08/20/blackwater.cia.ties/
  2. https://www.salon.com/2007/10/02/blackwater_bush/
  3. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2010/01/blackwater-201001
  4. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121502690
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_A._McChrystal#Commander,_Joint_Special_Operations_Command
  6. https://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/17/us/17brothers.html
  7. https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2007/11/buzzy-krongard-quits-blackwater-board/
  8. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A25386-2001Apr30.html
  9. https://www.iqt.org/about-iqt/team/
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Thiel
Erik Prince’s and Palantir’s link to the Kremlin: Tiger Fund
Julian Robertson has strong ties with Trent Lott and Dick DeVos, Erik Prince’s brother-in-law. All three sit on the Children’s Scholarship Fund board (1) and Robertson donates to Betsy DeVos’s the American Federation for Children Action Fund (2). Trent Lott himself gained a bit of infamy in 1997 when, along with Newt Gingrich, he slipped in a last minute tax break for Dick DeVos’ Amway into a contentious tax compromise bill. Four months later DeVos and his wife together donated $1 million to the GOP (3).
In 2006, a Julian Robertson-seeded hedge fund run my Chase Coleman, Tiger Fund, invested in DST (4). By the end of 2009 DST would own 10% of Facebook (5), financed by the Russian-state-owned Gazprom, as revealed by the Paradise Papers (6).
A Moscow source said: "DST has the backing of the big boys at the top in the Kremlin, which is why it will go from strength to strength" (7).
In 2008, Tiger Fund invested into Palantir (8).
  1. https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2014/01/28/national-school-choice-week-know-the-players-and-the-funders/
  2. https://firststreetresearch.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/school-choice-group-turns-its-back-on-washington-focuses-on-states/
  3. https://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/11/tough-sell/
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mail.Ru
  5. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/jan/04/facebook-dst-goldman-sachs
  6. https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/05/russia-funded-facebook-twitter-investments-kushner-investor
  7. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/jan/04/facebook-dst-goldman-sachs
  8. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-tiger-siliconvalley/tiger-global-leads-wall-street-pack-turning-to-silicon-valley-idUSBREA2Q1YK20140327
Erik Prince’s ties to Michael Flynn: Stanley McChrystal
In 2009, Palantir hired Stanley McChrystal’s top CDR, Douglas Philippone, who commanded multiple JSOC outstations in Afghanistan (1) that Prince had worked with. On July 2, 2010, McChrystal’s deputy of intelligence, Michael Flynn, put in an urgent request to purchase Palantir for McChrystals troops after two Palantir reps visited him (2 page 4), though by June 23, McChrystal had resigned from the military. Five days after his resignation, Tiger Fund invested into Facebook (3).
In July, 2010 Eric Prince moved to Abu Dhabi and founded Reflex Response, R2 (4), financed by Prince Zayed himself, while McChrystal founded McChrystal Group and joined the board of Knowledge International (5), a licensed arms dealer with close ties to the UAE government with only two listed addresses: one the home of Stanley McChrystal in Virginia, and the other in Abu Dhabi (6).
Three months later in Aspen McChrystal talked about his resignation during a private event. Julian Robertson was in attendance (7). As late as March 2015, Michael Flynn and Stanley McChrystal continued to work together to push Palantir (9), but with Palantir’s biggest pusher resigned from the military, Palantir needed another connection. Luckily Erik Prince and Julian Robertson had plenty. In 2010 Palantir hired two lobbyist, Trent Lott and John Breaux at Patton Boggs (8).
By the time Palantir hired Lott and Breaux, Lott already had his own Russian connection. In 2006, the same year Tiger Fund was investing in a Russian tech company linked to Gazprom, Gazprom’s subsidiary, Gazprombank, hired the lobbying firm, Ketchum. On April 25, 2007 Ketchum emailed Trent Lott’s National Security Advisor, Mitch Waldman, about “Russia,” according to the vague FARA disclosure (10). By 2014, Trent Lott and John Breaux would snag Gazprombank as a client themselves (11).
That same year, 2014, Flynn was fired from his military position. Soon enough he founded Flynn Intel Group registered at the same address at McChrystal’s home (12). December 2015, Michael Flynn visited Sergey Kislyak at Kislyak's home (13) and dined with Putin in Moscow (14) On September 20, 2016, Rohrabacher met with Flynn at Flynn Intel Group, a meeting probed by Mueller (15).
  1. https://www.crunchbase.com/person/doug-philippone#section-recent-news-and-activity
  2. http://fortune.com/palantir-pentagon-trump/
  3. https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/tiger-global/investments/investments_list#section-investments
  4. https://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/world/middleeast/15prince.html
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_A._McChrystal
  6. https://knowledgeintllc.us/
  7. http://www.coloradoindependent.com/62815/mcchrystal-in-aspen-afghanistan-a-post-apocalyptic-nightmare
  8. https://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/palantir-defense-contracts-lobbyists-226969
  9. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/williamalden/palantir-has-well-placed-friends-in-trumpworld#.hlk7aKy87
  10. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/01/putins-washington-113894_Page3.html
  11. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/09/two-former-senators-are-helping-a-russian-bank-fight-us-sanctions/379494/
  12. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_A._McChrystal
  13. https://investigaterussia.org/media/2018-04-28/flynn-met-kislyak-2015
  14. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/guess-who-came-dinner-flynn-putin-n742696
  15. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/mueller-probing-pre-election-flynn-meeting-pro-russia-congressman-n819676
Patton Boggs and Erik Prince back-channels to Russia
Patton Boggs and Erik Prince play a diverse and central roll in the Trump-Russia scandal- like P-B lawyer Don McGahn working on Trump’s campaign (1) and P-B working with Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen (2)- so I’ll break the connections down one at a time. Follow the two immediate links below and scroll through the years to find Patton-Boggs' (later Squire-Patton-Boggs) many lobbying clients.
Patton-Boggs: 2010-2014
https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/firmsum.php?id=D000022176&year=2010
Squire-Patton-Boggs: 2014-
https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/firmsum.php?id=D000067299
  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_McGahn
  2. https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/25/michael-cohen-squire-patton-boggs-alliance-607897
Maricopa County
Maricopa County hired Patton Boggs from 2010-2012. Maricopa County’s sherriff at the time was Joe Arapio, whom Trump pardoned for his crimes in 2017.
In 2011 Trump met with Steve Bannon over a possible 2011 run for the presidency (1). Soon after, Trump and Arapio heavily pushed the Obama birther conspiracy (2)(3) and Trump would later even emulate Arpaio’s “concentration camps” (4)(5). At the time Arpaio worked closely with Steven Seagal, even raiding a home with a military tank in September, 2011(6). Steven Seagal shared a business partner with Paul Manafort, Julius Nasso, who was connected to the Gambino crime family and worked with Manafort selling Russian nuclear tech in the US (7). in 2016, Vladimir Putin would personally reward Seagal with Russian citizenship (8).
On March 19 2013, Rohrabacher met with Paul Manafort, Vin Weber, and Rick Gates while Manafort was working as an unregistered foreign agent of Ukraine and their pro-Russian Party of Regions (9), a meeting central to Gates guilty plea in the Mueller investigation (10). Two months later Dana Rohrabcher met with the Russian FSB and the head of the FSB, Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin, arranged and attended by none other than Steven Seagal (11) (12).
The man who introduced Steven Seagal to Vladimir Putin, Bob Van Ronkel, happened to attend Donald Trump's Miss Universe 2013 contest in Moscow (13).
  1. https://www.cnn.com/2017/04/12/politics/steve-bannon-donald-trump-relationship/index.html
  2. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/07/trump-sends-investigators-to-hawaii-to-look-into-obama/
  3. https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2012/05/22/153313783/sheriff-arpaio-sends-publicly-funded-deputy-to-hawaii-on-birther-hunt
  4. https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/aug/21/arizona-phoenix-concentration-camp-tent-city-jail-joe-arpaio-immigration
  5. https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-donald-trump-is-still-setting-up-concentration-camps-on-american-soil-1.6197513
  6. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2032973/Steven-Seagal-killed-puppy-reality-police-breaking-cockfighting-ring.html
  7. https://www.reddit.com/RussiaLago/comments/8rrnkx/how_trumps_mob_ties_led_to_paul_manafort_in/
  8. https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2016/11/steven-seagal-vladimir-putin-russian-citizenship
  9. http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-rohrabacher-s-meeting-with-manafort-1498680385-htmlstory.html
  10. https://www.politico.com/newsletters/politico-influence/2018/02/23/gates-accused-of-lying-about-manafort-meeting-with-rohrabacher-weber-114848
  11. https://abcnews.go.com/International/steven-seagal-opened-doors-us-delegation-moscow/story?id=19310164
  12. http://nymag.com/daily/intelligence2013/06/congress-in-russia-seagal-bonding-few-facts.html
  13. https://www.npr.org/2018/07/03/624059365/how-did-steven-seagal-and-vladimir-putin-become-bffs-bob-van-ronkel-introduced-t
Palantir
At the same time, Peter Thiel’s Palantir hired Patton-Boggs from 2010-2014.
Peter Thiel is a terrible person. Peter Thiel wrote a book about how politically-correct “multiculturalism” has had a debilitating impact on higher education (1), wrote that woman’s sufferage was bad for democracy (2), ran an unethical human herpes experiment offshore (3), and vouched for monopolies (4). Peter Thiel is the embodiment of the alt-right. In 2016 he gave a speech at Donald Trump’s inauguration (5), donated $1.25 million in support of Trump’s cause to various SuperPACs (5), and joined Trump’s transition team (6). One SuperPAC Peter Thiel donated to, along with Erik Prince, was the Mercer-back Make America #1 that funded scandal-plagued and now defunct Cambridge Analytica (7). Peter Thiel showed reporter Maureen Dowd a photo of Thiel, Erik Prince, and Donald Trump together at the "Heroes and Villains" party held in Dec 2016 (14).
The same year Palantir hired Patton-Boggs, the president of the Russian federation and former head of Gazprom, Dmitry Medvedev, visited Silicone Valley along with a cadre of figures central to Trump-Russia including: Yuri Milner of DST (8); Russian "top spy" Sergey Kislyak (9); and Victor Vekselberg of Skolkovo, who is under investigation by Mueller (10). While there, they recruited Google’s Eric Schmidt to join the board of Vekselberg’s Skolkovo (11). According to US intelligence, Skolkovo was likely a Russian spy facility. Schmidt’s daughter, Sophia, later interned at Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, SCL, and recommended CA work with Palantir (12); and Vekselberg later held a mysterious meeting with Michael Cohen at Trump Tower (13).
  1. https://www.amazon.com/Diversity-Myth-Multiculturalism-Political-Intolerance/dp/0945999763
  2. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/peter-thiel-women-democracy_us_5747079be4b03ede4413f6f5
  3. https://www.salon.com/2017/08/28/libertarian-billionaire-peter-thiel-funds-unethical-offshore-human-testing-of-herpes-vaccine-skirting-fda-rules_partne
  4. https://www.wsj.com/articles/peter-thiel-competition-is-for-losers-1410535536
  5. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/16/technology/peter-thiel-donald-j-trump.html
  6. https://money.cnn.com/2016/11/11/technology/peter-thiel-trump-team/index.html
  7. https://www.thedailybeast.com/thiel-backed-pac-may-have-made-illegal-payments-to-bannon-company
  8. http://fortune.com/2010/10/04/facebooks-friend-in-russia/
  9. https://www.cnn.com/2017/03/02/world/sergey-kislyak-russian-ambassador-us-profile/index.html
  10. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/04/us/politics/viktor-vekselberg-mueller-investigation.html
  11. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2010/jun/23/dmitry-medvedev-silicon-valley-visit
  12. https://www.inc.com/business-insidefacebook-cambridge-analytica-emails-link-sophia-schmidt-palantir-alfredas-chmieliauskas-peter-thiel-eric-schmidt.html
  13. https://apnews.com/5e533f93afae4a4fa5c2f7fe80ad72ac/Sanctioned-Russian-oligarch-linked-to-Cohen-has-vast-US-ties
  14. https://theintercept.com/2017/01/17/notorious-mercenary-erik-prince-is-advising-trump-from-the-shadows/
Erick Prince’s link to Peter Thiel and Dana Rohrabacher: Paul Behrends
While Peter Thiel was on Trump’s transition team, he held a four hour phone call with Stephen Bannon and Dana Rohrabacher (1). Since then, Rohrabacher’s right hand man, Paul Behrends, has become one of Thiel’s greatest confidants (2) and even arranged a meeting between Thiel and Pro-Putin Hungarian Prime Minster’s senior visor, Jeno Megyesy (5). Paul Behrends was the one that arranged Rohrabacher’s many visits into Russia and even joined in, including a meeting with Russian agent Veselnitskaya in April 2016 (3), two months before the infamous Trump Tower meeting.
Paul Behrends is also close with Erik Prince and arranged for Prince to intern with freshman rep Dana Rohrabacher back in 1990 when Prince was still a college student (4). In 1998, when Erik Prince opened up Blackwater, Behrends became a partner at the now infamous Alexander Strategy Group and lobbied extensively for Blackwater (5). ASG then arranged for Dana Rohrabacher’s visit to Prince’s Blackwater compound (6).
  1. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/romney-fading-rohrabacher-bolton-rising-for-state-as-consensus-package
  2. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/07/20/the-hill-staffer-at-the-center-of-the-russia-intrigue-215396
  3. http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/10/03/gop-congressman-met-in-moscow-with-kremlin-linked-lawyer-at-center-of-russia-investigation/
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erik_Prince
  5. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/07/20/the-hill-staffer-at-the-center-of-the-russia-intrigue-215396
  6. https://www.salon.com/2007/10/02/blackwater_bush/
Facebook
Facebook hired Patton-Boggs from 2012-2015.
In 2012, Mark Zuckerberg visited Vekselberg and Medvedev in Moscow (1). While there, Zuckerberg had an interesting conversation with Medvedev:
Mr. Zuckerberg and Mr. Medvedev talked about Facebook’s role in politics, though only jokingly in reference to its importance in the American presidential campaign, according to Mr. Medvedev’s press office. (2)
  1. https://www.adweek.com/digital/zuckerberg-russia-skolkovo/
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/02/technology/zuckerberg-meets-with-medvedev-in-key-market.html
Erik Prince's link to Cambridge Analytica: Vincent Tchenguiz, Black Cube, Ko Chun Shun, Palantir, Mark Zuckerberg, Eric Schmidt, and Michael Flynn
In 2013 Facebook and Palantir joined forces at Cambridge Analytica following Eric Schmidt's daughter's suggestion (1). At the suggestion of a Palantir employee, Alfredas Chmieliauskas, suspected Russian spies Aleksander Kogan and Joseph Chancellor hacked Facebook and sold the data to CA (2) with Steve Bannon’s approval (3). Palantir employees later worked on that data (4). All the while, Facebook and Google hand embeds in Cambridge Analytica’s operation (5).
Prior to the formation of Cambridge Analytica, CA’s parent company, SCL, was owned by billionaire Robert Mercer (6) and Vincent Tchenguiz (7). After Tchenguiz divested from SCL, his employee, Julian Wheatland, stayed on the board (8). Israel's Dorian Barak introduced Prince to Tchenguiz with the hope of forming a joint venture together (9). Tchenguiz contracted with Black Cube after SFO raided Tchenguiz's Kaupthing for its links to Alfa-Bank and possible fraud (10)(11).
The Trump campaign has hired Ted Cruz’s former data-analysis firm, Cambridge Analytica—and in doing so, it has connected itself with a British property tycoon, Vincent Tchenguiz, and through him with the Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash, a business associate of Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who resigned last week. (12)
Once CA collected Facebook's hacked data, they needed to spread to find a way to use it. Erik Prince then arranged a meeting on August 3, 2016, between Donald Trump Jr., George Nader, and Black Cube agent Joel Zamel (13), an Israeli that specialized in social media manipulation. Zamel had already drawn up a multi-million dollar social media campaign to elect Trump (14). However, when the CA scandal broke, CA shut down, but soon after a new analytics company formed, Emerdata, with many of the same board members as the defunct CA, but with a new name to the list- Erik Prince’s business associate Johnson Ko Chun Shun (15).
Squire Patton-Boggs, representing CA, threatened to sue the Guardian over articles on Facebook’s data breach (16).
  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/27/us/cambridge-analytica-palantir.html
  2. https://techcrunch.com/2018/03/28/palantir-confirms-a-staff-link-with-cambridge-analytica/
  3. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-bannon-cambridge-analytica-facebook-20180320-story.html
  4. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/27/palantir-worked-with-cambridge-analytica-on-the-facebook-data-whistleblower.html
  5. https://twitter.com/bbcstories/status/896752720522100742?lang=en
  6. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/feb/26/robert-mercer-breitbart-war-on-media-steve-bannon-donald-trump-nigel-farage
  7. http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/257246/making-serious-dough-in-tel-aviv
  8. http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/211152/trump-data-analytics-russian-access
  9. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/revealed-erik-prince-had-business-ties-with-netanyahus-disgraced-chief-of-staff-1.5627887
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exista
  11. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/ap12/vincent-tchenguiz-black-cube
  12. https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/211152/trump-data-analytics-russian-access
  13. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-who-is-joel-zamel-australian-israeli-linked-to-mueller-s-trump-probe-1.6104963
  14. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-domestic-conspiracy-that-gave-trump-the-election_us_587ed24fe4b0b110fe11dbf9
  15. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/ma21/cambridge-analytica-links-erik-prince-blackwater-f/
  16. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/robert-mercer-guardian-lawsuit-threat_us_591c5a95e4b041db8965d6b7
Reflex Responses and Spectrum Health
More directly, in 2011, Erik Prince’s own R2 hired Patton Boggs and from 2011-2012 Dick DeVos’s Spectrum Health hired Patton-Boggs as well.
In still one of the biggest mysterious of the Trump-Russia saga, during the 2016 campaign Spectrum Health’s servers pinged servers at Trump Org and that of Russian bank Alfabank, a phenomenon currently under investigation by Mueller (1).
  1. https://www.cnn.com/2017/03/09/politics/fbi-investigation-continues-into-odd-computer-link-between-russian-bank-and-trump-organization/index.html
Exxon-Mobil
Exxon-Mobil hired Patton Boggs from 2012-2014.
Within that timeframe, Exxon-Mobil’s Rex Tillerson penned a deal with Rosneft’s Igor Sechin that earned him the Russian Order of Friendship directly from Vladimir Putin (1). That deal also broke US sanctions law and Exxon-Mobil was fined $2 million (2). Rex Tillerson would become Trump’s Secretary of State after Russia rejected Mitt Romney as a choice (3).
Erickson worked his GOP connections to try to influence Trump’s transition team and the new administration’s staffing. Butina and Torshin discussed who might be appointed secretary of state, with Butina asking how “our people” felt about one name, per the affidavit. (4)
  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/12/13/what-is-the-russian-order-of-friendship-and-why-does-trumps-pick-for-secretary-of-state-have-one/
  2. http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-exxon-mobil-fined-2-million-for-1500561365-htmlstory.html
  3. http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/376746-russia-says-it-stopped-mitt-romney-from-becoming-secretary-of-state
  4. https://www.vox.com/2018/7/19/17581354/maria-butina-russia-nra-trump
Apollo Global Management
From 2013-2015 Leon Black’s Apollo Global Management hired Patton Boggs.
Erik Prince’s associate Buzzy Krongrad joined the AGM’s board in 2011 (1). That same year Alexander Torshin’s sanctioned Sberbank formed the Russian Direct Investment Fund, or RDIF, and AGM’s head, Leon Black, joined the RDIF board (2). (Russian spy Maria Butina later reported to Torshin on her infiltration of the NRA (3)).
In January 2013, Peter Thiel’s associate, Max Levchin, met up with Sberbank’s Herman Greff in Davos during Victor Pinchuk’s Ukrainian Lunch (4). Then in February, Donald Trump’s close associate, Rudy Giuliani, happened to bump into Emin Agalarov (5). Emin hung out with Trump himself in Vegas four months later during the Miss USA pageant, where Trump announced that Miss Universe 2013 would be held in Moscow (6). While in Moscow Herman Greff signed a contract with Donald Trump to finance a Trump Tower Moscow (7).
In 2013 Michael Flynn visited the GRU (8) and in January 2014, three months after Trump signed the contract with Greff, a former Sberbank employee and Cambridge University student, Svetlana Lokhova, met Flynn at a conference known for being a Russian spy’s nest (9). At some point Michael Flynn would become an advisor to Cambridge Analytica (10), founded by Steve Bannon at that very same Cambridge University (11).
In December 2016 "Kushner, Flynn and Kislyak also talked about arranging a meeting between a representative of Trump and a “Russian contact” in a third country whose name was not identified" (20). In January 2017 Prince Zayed and George Nader introduced Erik Prince to the head of the RDIF, Kirill Dmitriev. (Nader is currently cooperating with the Mueller investigation into that meeting) (12). Patton-Boggs has worked closely with Prince Zayed’s father, Sultan Al Nahyan, for over 20 years (19).
Leon Black is good friends with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump (13) and, in 2016, AGM loaned Jared Kushner’s company $180 million, which is currently under investigation (14). That same year, while Krongard was still on the board for AGM, AGM bought Prince’s Blackwater through Constellis (15)(16). Then in 2017 Tiger Fund invested into AGM (17) while Erik Prince lobbied Donald Trump to provide the CIA with a private network of intelligence contractors (18).
  1. https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/people/person.asp?personId=11734234&privcapId=8740684
  2. https://www.businessinsider.com/russian-investment-fund-connected-to-us-investors-sanctioned-2015-7
  3. https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/07/nra-russia-maria-butina-alexander-torshin-republicans-trump/
  4. https://pinchukfund.org/en/projects/20/photo/266/
  5. https://thesternfacts.com/rudy-giuliani-knows-russian-oligarchs-son-who-linked-trump-campaign-with-spies-3a1a366a90fd
  6. https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/a-trump-trip-to-las-vegas-adds-intrigue-to-the-steele-dossier
  7. https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/08/trumps-moscow-partner-was-apparently-financed-by-a-russian-bank-under-us-sanctions/
  8. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/ma31/michael-flynn-new-evidence-spy-chiefs-had-concerns-about-russian-ties
  9. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5776741/Cambridge-graduate-accused-serial-seducer-spymasters-fights-clear-name.html
  10. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/04/michael-flynn-cambridge-analytica-disclosure
  11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXdYSQ6nu-M
  12. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/mueller-gathers-evidence-that-2016-seychelles-meeting-was-effort-to-establish-back-channel-to-kremlin/2018/03/07/b6a5fb8c-224b-11e8-94da-ebf9d112159c_story.html
  13. https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/sporting/news/a7802/ivanka-trump-wendi-deng-us-open/
  14. https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/01/politics/jared-kushner-business-loans-white-house-meetings/index.html
  15. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/constellis-announces-management-led-buyout-300313127.html
  16. https://www.your-poc.com/academi-triple-canopy-5-companies-merge-forming-largest-high-threat-security-group-world/
  17. https://www.forbes.com/sites/antoinegara/2017A/04/06/hedge-fund-tiger-global-is-making-a-major-bet-on-billionaire-leon-black/#3ed7234d2095
  18. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/afghanistan-camp-david/537324/
  19. https://www.squirepattonboggs.com/en/locations/abu-dhabi
  20. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/russian-ambassador-told-moscow-that-kushner-wanted-secret-communications-channel-with-kremlin/2017/05/26/520a14b4-422d-11e7-9869-bac8b446820a_story.html
Erik Prince's other exploits: Mike Pence, True Pundit, and Christophe Charlier
Along the way, Erik Prince played other roles in the Trump campaign. For example Erik Prince and Rudy Guiliani worked together to intimidate James Comey into reopening the FBI case against Clinton (1).
He was also integral in getting Mike Pence selected as Donald Trump's VP. When Prince returned to America after Blackwater gunned down 17 civilians in the Nisour Square Massacre, Pence greeted him with a party. Prince became a top donator to Pence (2). When Paul Manafort pushed for Trump to choose Pence as VP, Manafort's long-time business associates, Rick Gates and Tom Barrack, were working with Erik Prince-agent Michael Flynn on a plan to build nuclear plants across the US (3). In 2011 Prince had signed a contract with UAE to supply security to a string of nuclear power plants across the Middle East, none of which had been built yet (4).
Prince also had a number of email exchanges with Russian banker and Rusal board member, Christophe Charlier. Charlier's chaired at the Russian bank, Renaissance Capital, linked the to the KGB and FSB. His boss owned part of Oleg Deripaska's Rusal and later Charlier became a board member to Rusal himself. Charlier had introduced Prince to a member of Glencore that was involved in the purchase of Rosneft shares described in the Steel dossier as a way of paying Trump and his associates for their work (5).
In another avenue, Joseph Schmitz of Trump's National Security Council during the campaign also happened to be the ex-board member of Erik Prince's Blackwater holding company.
  1. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-domestic-conspiracy-that-gave-trump-the-election_us_587ed24fe4b0b110fe11dbf9
  2. https://theintercept.com/2016/11/15/mike-pence-will-be-the-most-powerful-christian-supremacist-in-us-history/
  3. https://www.propublica.org/article/white-house-may-share-nuclear-power-technology-with-saudi-arabia
  4. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1387319/Blackwater-founder-Erik-Prince-Reflex-Responses-R2-training-secret-commandos-desert-mercenaries-UAE-Arab-sheik.html
  5. https://medium.com/@wsiegelman/a-fresh-look-at-erik-princes-house-intelligence-committee-testimony-and-emails-with-christophe-6603f06c6568
submitted by Puffin_Fitness to RussiaLago [link] [comments]

I work for Newspoll. AMA about the methods we uuse and the accuracy.

EDIT: I am aware that I typed a misspelling in the very sentence where I'm talking about accuracy
Essentially it's nothing too special. We operate basically with about 50-80 interviewers, most of them on casual hours, 20 or so statisticians and another couple of dozen managers and executive staff. It's really not that big a company, considering how often we hit the news.
I've worked as an interviewer (i.e., the person who actually contacts people and asks the questions) and now as a supervisor.
Some basic details:
What do I personally feel about polling and it's influence on politics? It's a part of the modern political world for better or worse. It sells papers and parties do listen to polling (I can assure they conduct as much on their own as we do).
People often deride the fact that polls are pumped out so often, but people need to remember one of the reasons why there's so much is because it reduces the margin of error. So if one poll shows a big swing to or away from a particular party, people point out that there's a margin of error and one poll doesn't mean much, and they're quite right, especially if the other polling companies aren't showing it. But if there are many polls conducted over several months showing a consistent swing to a party then it becomes more and more of a safe bet that they're ahead.
And finally, who do I think will win the next federal election? At this point Abbott, with about 90 seats in the HoR (you need 76 for a majority). This is still six months out from the election and polls nearly always narrow, so my best bet would be a slight Coalition majority, probably smaller than the majorities enjoyed by Rudd and Howard at the beginning of their time in office. The odds of Labor pulling it together are about one in three, I would imagine.
submitted by DiggSuxNow to australia [link] [comments]

[OC][Jenkinsverse] Salvage - Chapter 68: Back Amongst Us

This work is an addition to the Jenkinsverse universe created by Hambone3110, and also features as a collaborative work between him and myself.
Where relevant, measurements that would normally be in alien formats are replaced by Earth equivalents in brackets.
All Chapters
Date Point: 3Y 8M 1D AV
Folctha Colony, Cimbrean, the Far Reaches
Everybody had been arrested.
But even with that taken into account, the day had much improved since they'd been busy crashing into a planet. It had been clear from the start that nobody was entirely certain what to do with a handful of aliens, a pair of Russian special forces guys - one of whom was covered in vomit and the other being catatonic - and an Australian who flatly refused to give his name, but it had eventuated that they had decided to take them back to the colony and ask some very pressing questions.
Captain Owen Powell busied himself at his desk, a flat-pack assembly that was built for sturdiness and easy transport over style, and largely ignored Adrian in a way that would make regular men uncomfortable. He had the bearing of a man who'd spent a life in the military, and who was currently tasked with dealing with a whole pile of shit he didn't have any plans for. There were five other soldiers armed with compact assault rifles in the office with them, each of them ready for some sudden outburst of violence.
Powell looked up as Adrian began to felt bored, staring at him with an intense level of scrutiny normally reserved for really unpleasant, really complicated things. Adrian figured that kind of description probably fit him incredibly well at this point, and he sniggered slightly at not being the one dealing with all the bullshit for once.
"It's not fookin' funny!" Powell snapped, a fierce glare locking with Adrian's eyes. "Do you have any idea what kind of problems you've caused just by being here? If you are who I think you are, you're doin' a shite job of being dead!"
Adrian stopped laughing, returning the Captain's hard look. "And if I am who you think I am, you should have a long fucking think before making it known. Where's Jennifer Delaney?"
"You don't get to ask the questions," Powell told him. "You answer them."
Adrian decided he didn't much like this man; Powell reminded him of so many other officers with a fifty foot pole jammed straight up their arses, so fucking difficult when they were threatened. Adrian had played by those rules once, but the man who'd worked so hard to obey his orders was as dead as Powell had supposed. He raised a questioning eyebrow. "You bastards just shot down my ship-"
"Captain Kaminski tells me it was a pirate vessel, and that you only boarded it once he'd taken control of it," Powell interrupted. "In fact, he's told me a lot of interesting things about you."
Adrian shrugged, preferring to ignore what level of knowledge was being implied. "So I'm the one who stole it most recently. I'm still the guy who crash landed a starship on a planet and walked away, and that's not even close to the most fucking terrifying thing I've done this week."
“Not fookin’ impressed, mate.”
Adrian leant forward and raised his voice, ignoring the five guns that all snapped to aim directly at him, and the way Powell’s hand dropped his holstered side-arm. “I've just been on a merry jaunt through fucking hell and all I want is the answer to One. Goddamned. Question!"
There was a long and quiet moment of dreadful tension, then Adrian took a controlled breath and leaned back. "Please?"
Powell relented, letting go of his own gun. His soldiers likewise relaxed. "Quid pro quo, then. You answer my questions and I'll answer what I can of yours. Something tells me neither of us is going to like the answers."
"No fucking kidding?" Adrian asked. "Well, I haven't liked much for as long as I can remember, so why the fuck should I start now? Where's Jennifer Delaney?"
"First your name," Powell persisted. "You are Adrian-"
Adrian interrupted, jerking a thumb towards the soldiers. "You better trust these fuckers here implicitly if you're going to finish that sentence. Or maybe we can just assume that whatever you were going to say is right?"
Powell stared at him for a moment. "....Saunders.” he finished, deliberately. “As for Miss Delaney, you just missed her. We shipped her out when we detected your mob comin’ in."
Adrian stared at Powell for a moment, completely dumbfounded by the answer; he had been so close, so very close... and yet again he had lost her. Like a levy breaking, he burst out into broken laughter, convulsing with guffaws that mingled with sobs. "Of course... of course she did! Gone home I bet? No reason to wait for a dead man!"
Powell muttered something along the lines of "Jesus fookin' Christ..." and he wasn't the only one. They weren't looking at him with simple anger or determination anymore; now it was mixed with a sort of horrified fascination.
But it wasn't all bad; something in him that had been pushing on to complete the mission had realised it succeeded, and now it let go. Jen was safe, she was going home, and the Russians and the crew were getting medical treatment. This wasn't the kind of colony where Adrian thought he could get help with the Cruezzir, but he wasn't completely out of luck. The situation had improved, even if he'd never see Jen again.
He took a deep, steadying breath. Maybe that could be good enough, a weight of responsibility had certainly lifted from him.
"Kaminski wasn't fookin' kidding," Powell assessed, staring as Adrian slowly regained control of himself. "Is the rest true? The infra-red? The... muscles?"
Adrian nodded as he ran a rough hand through his beard and across his head. "Yep," he said, voice still trembling, "but I wouldn't fucking recommend it. How are the Russians doing? Quid pro quo, remember?"
"Kaminski is recovered from his illness," Powell told him. "We have no idea what's wrong with Markovic outside of 'Pixie Dust'. Something to do with the alien fire suppressant?"
"Apparently it sends you totally fucking mental before you go catatonic," Adrian confirmed. "At least that's what I've gathered from it. I'd stay away from that shit if I were you."
"You're a wanted man on Earth, you know," Powell told him, almost conversationally. "If you are who I think you are, we're supposed to imprison you and keep you until they can come pick you up."
Adrian sensed a 'but' coming on, and he was not disappointed, a place like this didn't look like it had much ability to imprison anything.
"But," Powell continued, "I can smell the kind of shit you're in, and I'm not going to put this colony and my mission at risk over a dropout who’s legally fookin’ dead. D’you know how long that paperwork takes? I don’t have the fookin' time nor the inclination, so long as you promise to get the fook out of my hair and never come back. Spread the word there’s nowt but ruins on Cimbrean and I might even be persuaded to see if there’s owt useful you can be doin’ instead of stealin’ pirate ships and chasing after a girl who’s got her shit together way better than you do."
They stared at each other for a few moments, then Adrian unclenched his fists, sighed and nodded. "Looks like you've still got some broken down old ships. I can probably put a working one together given a bit of time, a week... two at most, and then I'll be out of your hair."
"Good," said Powell. "We'll give you food, clothes and shelter... and a fookin' shave if you want it, but you need to get out of here before you become a problem. And for the moment, Captain, you are going to give me a full debriefing."
Adrian relented, and upon the introduction of a recording device he launched, fully willing, into the story that started with his abduction from the Australian bush and most recently arrived at crashing a pirate ship into a planet.
Powell was less than ready to believe the story as soon as Adrian reached the first of the crazier parts of his tale.
"The fookin' dinosaurs built a spaceship," Powell said, and there was no mistaking the disbelief the words carried. Clearly Jen had not been entirely forthcoming while she was in the man's presence.
"Yep," Adrian replied firmly, well aware of how crazy it all sounded - and he was fairly sure that crazy was his trademark by this point - but unwilling to let Powell go for a second without seeing the conviction of the truth.
The Captain remained unconvinced. "I asked for a fookin' briefing, not a flight of fancy."
"Space dragons," Adrian began, wearily listing the crazy bullshit he could think of off the top of his head. "Fucking... X-Files grey aliens, blue giraffes, raccoon people, and yep... the dinosaurs built a fucking spaceship! Not my fault the universe is totally fucking mental."
He sniffed, remembering the size and power of the Zhadersil and just how fucking awesome it had felt sitting in that command chair. "Fucking good spaceship, too."
After that he was allowed to continue his monologue, speaking at length about the messed up shit he'd had to deal with: Dinosaur terminators on extension leads; jumping into a stasis chamber to escape a burst of deadly radiation; his issues with having a body covered entirely with blue fur; the explosive incidents on Cavaras; the various experiences of riding missiles and cybered up space dragons, and just how much he fucking hated black holes and alien fire suppressant.
Powell finally interrupted him with a question about the Hierarchy. "Okay," he demanded, that's the third fookin' time you've mentioned this 'Hierarchy'. Who in the hell are they meant to be?"
Adrian cocked his head a little to the side, feeling a little embarrassed saying it, but knowing it was the closest allegory that was going to get the point across. "Long and short of it? They're the Space Illuminati."
"For * fook's* sake!" Powell shouted, leaping to his feat and spinning away towards the corner with his head in hand. His next words were more muted. “I have no idea why I don’t just assume you’re taking the piss.”
Adrian could do little but shrug helplessly. "I know a few things... they're beyond cutting-edge. They've got a fucking army. And they love robots. Oh, and they can copy their brains away."
“ Greaaaat.” Powell muttered, turning back to face Adrian as he ever so slightly shook his head in dismay. “Bloody ‘ell, Why in God’s name do I believe you, Saunders?”
Adrian didn't have any kind of fucking idea there, and he expressed it with a shrug that conveyed as much. "Don't fucking ask me," he said. "I hardly believe all this shit. But you do have a crashed Hierarchy ship sitting offshore."
"Not like I can do owt with it." Powell grumbled as he sat down again, revealing that perhaps these men weren't anywhere near ready for the galaxy sized serving of bullshit they'd just dropped themselves into.
"You can't," Adrian remarked with a shrug.
Powell, who'd been distracted by his own thoughts, turned his attention back to Adrian. "Can't... what now?"
You can’t do anything with it. I probably can.” Adrian repeated. At least he felt confident that he could, he had plenty of experience at breaking things in an increasingly precise manner, so how much harder could putting them back together possibly be?
Powell returned a hard stare. “My lads and the SEALs could dive that wreck, no problem, but we wouldn’t know the warp engine from the shitter. You sayin’ you would?”
"I rebuilt a dinosaur spaceship and killed a fleet of fucking arseholes with it.” Adrian said, recalling what now seemed like the 'good old days' when life had contained actual victories. “I'm not saying it's recoverable but if it is..."
"...If it is, you might actually turn out to not be a complete fookin' liability after all." Powell acknowledged, scratching at his facial hair absently.
Whether Adrian was a liability here or not didn't particularly concern him, but he knew the sound of options opening up and the touch of a grin returned to his lips. "I was going to take some hard fucking revenge on these fuckers anyway," he revealed, "so... you know, it's no problem."
"...Fine," Powell relented. “You get to dive that wreck. You find any intel we can use and turn it over, and I might even drop the whole "never come back" thing. Now, I'm still kickin' you off this planet because I need trouble like you a long way from my mission, but if you can prove you're not a complete cock-up and turn up owt that's useful - and rip out and destroy anything that might lead this Hierarchy here... Well, there's the deal."
"Honestly I doubt it even has what I want.” Adrian confessed, recalling Hrbrd's story about the sheer quantity of firepower that had been levelled at the Hierarchy vessel. “But I'll be sure to look. What about after I’ve left? You got a phone number?"
“Next best thing.” Powell said. “You know Star Trek?”
Adrian did, although not through his own interest; his step father had forced his own interests upon him and avoiding 'family time' had yielded unpleasant consequences. "Yeah. My old man had an obsession.”
“Good," Powell approved, "then you should remember this. There’s an... agent we use. He handles courier work, messages and odd jobs for us. He’s got an interstellar datanet dropbox, if you have a message for us, send it there and he’ll pass it on. The address is November-Charlie-Charlie one-seven-zero-one. Got that?”
Fucking USS Enterprise. Of course it was, but it would make remembering the damned thing a doddle. "Got it."
"You know how to stay secure online?"
In truth Adrian had no fucking idea, on how to stay secure or how to use or even connect to the datanet, but that was not his 'thing'. No, that sort of thing was where Askit came into the picture and stole the whole damned show. "I have a guy who can crack cyber security like an egg."
"You trust him?" Powell pressed.
That was a difficult question, after all how far could you really trust a narcissistic hedonist of a Corti with a penchant for emptying bank accounts? "We've seen a lot of shit together, so you know how it is," Adrian replied, guessing that would have to do. "I know he's not Hierarchy."
It didn't seem like it would do for Powell, and the man showed that he must have been paying attention during Adrian's lengthy tale. “You don't mean this 'Askit' bloke, do you? I thought you said he was Corti?"
"He is," Adrian acknowledged, seeing no point in deception on this of all topics. "And I've almost never wanted to kill him."
That fact alone made Askit the best of all Corti Adrian had ever met; even the regal Hrbrd had been eminently more punchable than the wise-cracking hacker.
"...Whatever.” Powell sighed. “I guess trustin' you with this means trusting whoever you trust in turn. Just don't send in the clear, and use a codename. "Kirk", "Enterprise" and "Federation" are already taken. Got that?"
Codenames was it? Well, he sure as fuck wasn't going with the Star Trek theme. He needed something more... cynical, and for once his step father's obsession with all things sci-fi. He couldn't think of anything but a goddamned puppet being less capable of making his own life choices, so that was another choice that made itself. "Reckon I might go with Captain Scarlet. Looks like I'm breaking the theme."
Powell didn't seem to give two shades of a shit. "If playing the fookin' special snowflake is what floats your cock, sure. Whatever. Got anything more to add before I let you bugger off and start building your pet starship?"
"Just one thing," Adrian said, shifting forward towards the edge of his seat. “I'm about to start waging my own personal fucking war on an enemy I can't even imagine. If you've got a wish list for souvenirs just let me know."
"Anything that proves they exist and aren't just your imagination.” Powell said, extending his fingers to count off the things he could think of. “Bleeding-edge technology. Alien hard drives, journals, logbooks, computers, that kind of thing. A working cloaking device, or at least one that's not too badly broken. Maps, encryption keys... intel, basically."
Half of that shit didn't make any sense, not when they were surrounded by scraps of technology in the broken down ships the pirates had left behind. "You need a cloaking device?" he asked. "You've got a half dozen wrecked Hunter ships lying all over the place."
“Bloody lovely.” Powell agreed. “Now if you can point out which bit of the fookin' things is the cloaking device, I might consider it a tick in the 'not a complete waste of space' column."
These guys were in over their fucking heads, coming to a fucking alien planet by choice without anybody who knew anything about what they were fucking doing, and Adrian scowled at the tone of dismissal Powell used on him. "Your confidence is fucking overwhelming. I'll put it on the list of shit I have to do."
"Saunders,” Powell warned, looking him in the eye, “as far as I’m concerned, the one thing that makes you worth the oxygen you're breathing is that you're the only bastard on this planet right now who knows a spaceship's arse from its elbow. Remember that, aye?”
There wasn't a chance he'd forget it; Adrian grinned. "I'll remember."
"Right," Powell said, nodding up towards the door in dismissal. "Fook off."
Adrian did so gladly.
+++++
Date Point: 3Y 8M 1W 3D AV
Cimbrean was beautiful, regardless of the quantity of debris that now littered its fields and sea, or the battlefield that blighted the area where the colony grew. It was enough that Adrian could feel its warm sun and breathe its clean air, and that he had been able to get good food, decent sleep, some goddamned peace and quiet for the first time since Cavaras - fortunately without the blue hair - and of course a shave.
A glorious, wonderful shave.
He'd had them take it all off, wild beard and wild hair tumbled away before the might of the electric razors, and it felt spectacular. He couldn't remember the last time he'd been able to feel clean, and that in itself seemed to restore some measure of sanity to a life that had been spinning wildly out of control.
"You've got no fucking idea how good this feels," he told the two stoic, largely humourless soldiers who'd been assigned to him. They didn't say much, looking to be the sort of men who let violence do the talking, but they were apparently surnamed Richard and Michael. Powell may have released him into the colony, but he hadn't done it with the intention of letting him do as he pleased, and the guards were to remind him of the limits to his interaction with the colonists.
Adrian had found it more convenient - and considerably humorous - to mentally label the men as Cliff and Gorge respectively, bringing new character to men who looked like at least one of their parents had been a natural landmark. Doing that was probably a little mad, but when compared to other things he'd done lately it seemed positively normal.
The colony itself was built atop the ruins of the palace and the surrounding area, an area which had been and remained entirely flattened by orbital bombardment. There'd been little regrowth since his last visit, unless you counted the buildings that were springing up, but the broken down starships had been left in place and went largely untouched. Most were destroyed beyond use, but one Hunter vessel had merely been badly damaged with a large hole in its side and FTL and reactor shot to hell in a literal sense. It had nonetheless show, with just a cursory examination, functional kinetics, cloaking, communications and weapons systems, and so it was the ship that he chose as his own.
Four days of hard work had been required just getting the hull sealed up and fully airtight, and another two had been spent mending the ruined subsystems of the damaged areas. Another three had seen him bringing in functional parts from more damaged vessels to serve as redundancy and additional infrastructure. That thought of thing might have been considered paranoid in circles that didn't nearly end up a gooey-centred snack for a hungry singularity, but there was no fucking way he was going to go through that kind of bullshit again.
Nearly every moment had been filled with activity, or at least with considered thought regarding his activities, and he had the technical work was soothing in its own way. It had been easy to get lost in the work, to simply be the engineer, the technician, the man with a love for pulling things apart and trying to put them back together, and when he was lost in that he wouldn't go thinking about Jen.
Jesus Christ, he was glad she was safe, but he missed her like fucking crazy; missed her to the point that she filled his day-dreams with her softness and her laugh and her beautiful face. She'd apparently been fine after six months without him fucking up her life, but she'd had the idea that he was dead, and soon she'd be back on Earth, back to her family with lots of hugs and hot dinners from here until Sunday, whenever that was.
But that was what was best for her, and he'd decided to quit being a selfish prick for a change and focus on what was to come; Folctha - a colony name that proved Jen couldn't do anything normally - had to remain a secret, Zripob needed an arse-kicking, and the Hierarchy needed the kind of fucking lesson you only get once.
Some of those would be easier than others.
He was taking breakfast on the ninth day when Powell met with him again. Adrian was eating inside of his ship, turning a work bench into a dining table and enjoying his own company since the two human landmarks weren't worth much. Powell hadn't allowed him to mingle with the colonists, not that Adrian could blame him for that, and this had seemed preferable to simply taking his meal a set distance away from everybody else.
Powell took one look around the inside of the ship and glared at Adrian. "Day nine, and this thing is a complete fookin' mess!"
Adrian swallowed his food, some sort of delicious branflakes, but didn't bother to rise as might be polite or respectful; as far as he was concerned this was his fucking home, and he'd behave with whatever manners he pleased. "It's a whole shitload better than it was when I started," he said, although it didn't look it from the unused junk that was laying everywhere. "And you'll remember I said a week or two. I haven't broken any promises yet."
"I'm told you're still relyin' on our generators to power this piece of shite," Powell informed him, clearly unhappy at the masses of cables, conduits, panels and tools that littered the everything. "Will this fookin' thing even get into space?"
"Not with generators," Adrian admitted, not deigning to mention that the FTL drive remained non-existent. He much preferred biting into a piece of fruit and chomping away happily, amazed at how much better real food was to those fucking nutrition balls, no matter how much sauce you might apply. "Don't worry, I've got something in mind."
Powell's glare didn't get any softer, if anything it grew more pointed. "You fookin' well better, mate, because I've got people asking who the arsehole working on the ship is. It's not lost on everybody that you've turned up alongside a bunch of prisoners, and you're the only one walking around happy as can be. They're wondering why that is!"
Adrian focused on finished the piece of the fruit with relish before he continued. "Well," he said, "I'm planning on testing the kinetics tomorrow, and if all goes to plan I'm headed out to sea the day after. These boys of yours like water?"
"They go where you go, so long as it's on this planet," Powell reminded him, repeating what he'd been told when the two gentlemen had first joined him. "That includes out to sea."
"They'll need some wet gear," Adrian informed them all at once, greatly amused at the chance to unnerve the two meaty slabs of men. They might be Special Boat Service, but Adrian would bet them London to a brick that they'd never gone diving in an alien starship before. "You might be able to get by just using some vacuum suits. The Russians had some they might use."
"I'll see it's done," Powell replied curtly. "That all?"
Adrian was about to say it was when he suddenly remembered the box of components and haphazard notes he'd set aside for the next time he met with the Captain. He slid it out of storage and across the floor to Powell. "I got you a present," Adrian said. "Now you can be like Kevin Bacon."
Powell peered at the box with the same lack of comprehension Adrian was beginning to associate with everyone who dealt with him. "What the fook has Kevin Bacon got to do with fookin' anything?"
Adrian sighed, wondering if anyone but him remembered that particular movie. "Hollow man," he said. "That's the cloaking system I promised you."
+++++
New Askitoria, the Outer Cluster
Zripob knew something was wrong the moment he approached the asteroid base. There was no familiar hail from the the base, nor was there any response to his own. When he docked he could see that the place had been wholesale abandoned for no obvious reason.
He disembarked with some trepidation, anti-tank gun in hand; just because there was no sign of violence didn't mean there hadn't been any. He made his way with caution to the palace, where he was sure Chir would have made his 'great last stand' if such a thing had indeed been made.
The doors opened before him, and the way was granted into the audience chamber where he had first met King Carl. The throne had been left there empty, too heavy to lift but full of meaning; the people of the base had vowed never to call a man king again.
But it wasn't empty today. Today there sat an unimpressive Corti with an equally unimpressed expression. "You are not Adrian Saunders."
Zripob let slip a croak of anger. "What has happened here!? Where is Chir!?"
"Gone," the Corti said simply. "Everybody is gone, as they should have been. I suppose that you might be useful, though."
"Who are you?" Zripob demanded, although he already knew the little Corti must be some friend or enemy of Adrian Saunders. "Wait... I remember you from Cavaras!"
"It's nice to be remembered," the Corti replied as Zripob struggled to remember the name.
Askoo? No... Askin? Askit!
"Askit," Zripob said flatly. "Your name is Askit. You worked with Adrian."
"Work," Askit corrected, smiling slightly. "Although I'd like to know what you've done with him."
"He's probably still on Cimbrean," Zripob guessed, honestly not caring where the human was so long as he wasn't messing up Zripob's life. That the person he was now in conversation with was a close acquaintance of Adrian Saunders and was now the sole inhabitant of the base that had recently house his entire pirating operation was just more evidence that the human's influence was spreading. "He took my ship."
"Seems unlikely, Zripob," Askit noted.
Zripob raised his gun and pointed it at the Corti. "It doesn't really matter what you think."
"Are you familiar with the concept of the dead man's switch?" Askit asked him, pointedly staring at the anti-tank gun without flinching. "The concept was introduced to me by Adrian. Basically you set it up so that if you die, the people who killed you also die. I have a dead man's switch, Zripob."
"You are bluffing," Zripob guessed, although he had no way to be sure. "You're carrying no weapons!"
"Upon my death, this base will expel all atmosphere and negate all gravity," Askit explained in detail, leaning forward with the infuriating confidence of somebody who'd won before the game had even begun. "Weapons systems will target all starships currently in dock. Even with a vacuum suit you'd get to float around and suffocate slowly."
Now Zripob lowered his gun. He didn't have any doubt that the Corti was deadly serious, because if he was already dead then he had absolutely nothing to lose from using the tactic. "Then I shall go and-"
Askit cut him off, leaning forward and speaking with a cold, confident voice. "You won't be going anywhere, Six-Skulls Zripob. Not while I still have use for you. Right now you belong to me."
"I am not your slave!" Zripob croaked angrily. That was something he would never become again, regardless of the personal cost.
"Maybe not," Askit conceded, "but you're not going anywhere either. I have just sent word to Grznk's masters that Hrbrd is here and raising an army against the Hierarchy."
Zripob stared at him, rendered mute for a few moments by the thought of what would be coming. He swallowed his fear and wet the mouth that had run dry. "You're just as crazy as him..."
"Perhaps, I am," Askit admitted with a weak smile. "But nonetheless, allow me to welcome you, Zripob. Welcome to the war."
+++++
Record 573-Black-02 +Recovered from C11-Orange-712-Yellow-6+
"Maikie," the father said as the camera turned on to reveal the hair covered female who was his wife. She nursed Ahred in her lap, holding his hand and singing softly to him. From the state of him he was either dead, or soon would be. "Maikie... I found his present."
Everywhere around them there was ruin and flame, and the distance held wailing screams of terror and pain. Here it was relatively silent, but there was nothing calm about it.
Maikie choked out a sobbing laugh, continuing to look down at Ahred's limp form. "What's he going to do with that, Cavven?"
There was a pause. "I don't know," Cavven replied flatly. "I just found it."
End Record
+++++
Date Point: 3Y 8M 1W 5D AV
Cimbrean, the Far Reaches
Adrian's plans went smoothly for the first time in a long time, probably due in large part to the lack of anybody actively trying to kill him, and he was hovering on generator power by the next day. The day afterwards he, Cliff and Gorge took a special trip out to the bay where two alien ships polluted the water.
The Hodgepodge had sunk further, now about ninety-percent immersed in water and therefore completely submerged in the parts they needed to get to. Adrian looked over to the men and saw them staring at the size of the wreckage, their faces impassive but their eyes filled with wonder.
Adrian pat the inside of the ship as they made their final approach to the most accessible area. "Alright, girl... now we're going to see some real cool shit."
It only took a slight change for the kinetics to stop keeping them above the water and drive them down into it, and despite the initial alarm the two soldiers had shown - which Adrian had quietly laughed at - they were soon relaxing and looking at the rest of the wreckage through the blueish marine light.
"But this is a spaceship," Gorge remarked. "Not a fuckin' submarine."
"Spot probably can't go deep as a sub," Adrian told them, "but she can probably get us where we need to go."
Gorge looked at him with undisguised concern. "Probably?"
"'ang on a moment," said Cliff, "did you just call this fookin' thing 'Spot'?"
Adrian shrugged, returning to the task of guiding the vessel where needed to go. "Just looks sort of like a fucking huge dog head... in a certain light."
That light was infrared, so this was his little joke; worth it even if everyone kept thinking he was mad, and they could keep thinking like that for all he cared, because he knew the time on this planet was doing him good. Just like he knew he was going to stretch it out as close to the full two weeks as he could manage.
"Opening the airlock outer door," he said, so as to give plenty of warning to the two gun-toting meat-heads, and was glad to see the results. "Kinetic bubble holding."
He turned to the two soldiers now, facing them with a too-wide grin. "I'd put my fucking helmet on now if I were you. I'm about to open the airlock inner door, and I'm not what you might call entirely confident we won't all drown."
They hesitated, and then did as he said. He waited for them to finish and continued with the rest of the process. The inner door opened and the bubble held.
"Gentlemen," he said, rising from his seat and striding over to the barrier separating them from the ocean. He swept a finger through the wall of water and held it up wet. "I give you the sea!"
The two soldiers shared a glance, and it was Cliff who first spoke. "You're fookin' mad if you reckon we're going out there in these!"
Gorge made his contribution to their objection next. "This is a fuckin' space suit, mate. See a lot of fuckin' space out dere? How d'you think we're supposed to swim in dese?"
Adrian cocked his head and waggled his eyebrows. "Oh I wasn't going to swim."
They looked confused until he unpacked the three stripped down kinetic lifters he'd taken apart; then they just looked unimpressed.
That changed when he activated his, letting it pull his body forward, and jumped out the airlock. He drifted away into the water under the power of the alien device, laughing to himself at the sound of them swearing over the radio.
They rejoined him at the first opening to the Hodgepodge, the pair giving him a few of their strongest blows as they arrived. Even under the water they managed to knock the wind from him, but while there was pain it seemed paltry compared to what he'd recently endured.
"Next time you do somethin' like that it's a knife," Gorge warned angrily. "What's so fuckin' useful down 'ere that you needed to come back?"
"Starship reactor," Adrian replied, rubbing his side tenderly. "It was still live after we landed."
Cliff scowled. "Then why are all the fookin' lights out?"
"I blew them up last time I was here," Adrian admitted with a casual shrug.
The two soldiers stared at him, and Cliff shook his head with disgust. "You're just about the worst fookin' thing a man could put on a spaceship..."
Adrian shrugged again and set off towards the engineering room. It was much as he remembered it, and he barked out a happy laugh as he saw that the reactor lights were still lit, creating little spheres of red and blue around the tiny glowing dots.
"How're we supposed to move this fookin' thing!?" Cliff demanded as he realised what Adrian was looking at. "It's the size of a fookin' lorry!"
Adrian shut the reactor down, tapping his fingers on the controls as the lights slowly died. "We don't need the containment unit... I've already got like five of the fucking things."
He ejected the first quantum stack and held it out in front of them. It was about a two foot long cylinder of a lightweight white material, and about five inches in diameter; in its inactive state it still generated enough power to raise an outpouring of bubbles, the separation of oxygen and hydrogen from the surrounding water.
He hefted passed it over to Gorge and held it out until the man reluctantly took it. “Hang onto that for me, mate. I’ve got another four to pull out.”
"How come you need all these fookin' things when your ship is a bloody tiny thing compared to this?" Cliff asked, taking his in hand.
Adrian extracted the third, passing it over. "Because unlike the aliens, I believe in having some fucking redundancy. Four redundancies in this case."
"Wait, you only need one of these?" Cliff asked, looking more closely at the column of quantum technology. "Won't this be putting too much power through everything?"
Impressive that the thuggish soldier knew that much, but it served as a good reminder not to underestimate these men. "Yeah, but I already took care of that. Five times the power, five times the glory."
He drew the last of the stacks out, setting them aside while he started on opening the FTL enclosure. It was still sealed up, but this time he had a knife and no inclination to keep it all working. He had it out and slipped into a pocket within half a minute, picked up his quantum stacks and took hold of the kinetic thruster.
"Now," he said, flashing a grin at the two grizzled men. "Let's get back. We've still got two stops to go."
"Where else are we fookin' going?" Cliff asked in complaint. "We're not supposed to be your fookin' packmules, you know?"
"Art of war, mate," Adrian told him. "It's time for me to get to know my enemy. We're going over to the Hierarchy ship."
+++++
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Weekly Roundup | Random Chat | Notifications

News roundup for the previous week.
In International news
  1. Case of missing China scholar rattles compatriots at U.S. colleges: Chinese media have framed the case as emblematic of a security problem in the United States. On Weibo, commenters have repeatedly questioned the FBI's effectiveness in investigating the case
  2. Sun Yang Grabs Gold in 400 Free Final at FINA World Champs: Sun jumped to an early lead and never looked back, challenging the world record on the way, before finishing with a final time of 3:41.38. Mack Horton of Australia picked up the silver medal with a time of 3:43.38
  3. Donald Trump Is the Odd Man Out With Putin and Xi
  4. China’s ‘Belt and Road’ opens up new business in Africa for both the U.S. and China
  5. Thailand, China to move forward on train, EEC projects
  6. Why is China reinforcing its border with North Korea?
  7. A contract was inked today between Iran and China to supply necessary finance to the Tehran-Mashhad railway electrification project.
  8. North Koreans entering into China illegally not refugees: FM spokesperson
  9. Belarus, China to take care of security of Belt and Road facilities together
  10. Beijing backs joint energy ventures with Manila in South China Sea
  11. Sun Yang Won 2017 200 m Freestyle World Gold. Has He Now Pivoted to Shorter Distance?
  12. U.S. likely to target more Chinese entities over North Korea 'fairly soon': official
  13. Xu Jiayu Wins China’s 1st 100 Back World Champs Gold Ever
  14. Xu Jiayu wins Chinese male swimmers' first backstroke title at World Championships
  15. #Kazakhstan Bets Big On China’s Silk Road: If there is one country in Eurasia, if not the world, that is more gung-ho about the new Silk Road to Europe, it’s these guys
  16. NYPD cop’s daughter is born three years after his death: Liu’s widow, Pei “Sanny" Xia Chen, named the baby “Angel" as a tribute to her slain hero husband. Sources said the baby’s birth was particularly poignant for Liu’s parents, who lost their only son, 32, in the double murder
  17. CIA chief: China tops Russia & Iran as biggest long-term threat to US
  18. Iran to be at the center of the One Belt one Road.
  19. Duterte says Manila and Beijing in talks for joint exploration of #SouthChinaSea
  20. #Chelsea winger Kenedy sent back to UK amid growing backlash in China for offensive social media posts
  21. #Nepal launches Chinese classes to boost tourism
  22. The United States is imposing new sanctions on Russia, threatening China with a nuclear strike ... The shift in the political psyche is obvious. The form of acute aggressive paranoia. - translation Alexey_Pushkov
  23. #Kenya and China are set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding in order to boost cooperation in the media sector, a Kenyan official said
  24. #Ethiopia aims to have strategic cooperation with China on the aviation sector as the East African nation works to be an African aviation hub, said Ethiopia's transport minister
  25. #Australian universities condemn anti-Chinese posters put up on campus: Police investigating after racist fliers found at two Melbourne institutions. The safety, dignity and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese students in Australia must be protected - Chinese foreign ministry
  26. 6 Chinese #nurses win Florence Nightingale Medal: The Nightingale Award was established by the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1912. A total of 79 Chinese nurses have won the award since the Chinese Red Cross Society began to recommend candidates for the award in 1983
  27. Russia may refuse to back U.S. at UN Security Council on N. Korea, impose restrictions on its businesses - Pushkov
  28. 'China is everywhere' in Africa's rising technology industry
  29. One of China's richest men convicted of bribing United Nations ambassadors (So that He could Build a Building for UN, out of his own money. Not sure how that's even a crime)
  30. China dominates World Interior of the Year shortlist
  31. #Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai praised Thai-Chinese relations, saying there were "no obstacles" to the relationship between the two. Thailand this year has approved Chinese submarines, tank and helicopter purchases worth more than $500 million
  32. #Thailand has decided to send 44 recently arrested fraud suspects, including 25 Taiwanese, to China after their trial, Thai immigration authorities said
In Domestic news
  1. Welcome to Yiwu: China's testing ground for a multicultural city | Cities
  2. School in Hot Seat for Insisting on Criminal Checks Only for Migrant Parents
  3. China is crushing the U.S. in #renewableenergy: More than 2.5 million people work in the solar power sector alone in China, compared with 260,000 people in the U.S., according to the most recent annual report from the International Renewable Energy Agency
  4. Beach or boot camp? Hundreds of Hong Kong teenagers sign up for PLA training: Youngsters will learn marching drills and basic combat skills during 15 days of intensive discipline
  5. First cinema opens on South China Sea island
  6. British and Chinese #walk more! A fascinating study has revealed the walking habits of 700,000 people around the world. Chinese people will walk an average of 6,189 steps every day, whereas Brits take a slightly more lazy 5,444
  7. China is tightening control over foreign companies’ internet use in a move some worry might disrupt their operations or jeopardize trade secrets as part of a crackdown on technology that allows web surfers to evade Beijing’s online censorship
  8. China's top economic planner said Wednesday that the country's power use cost would be reduced by nearly 100 billion yuan (14.8 billion US dollars) this year due to pricing reforms and fee cancellation.
  9. China's top steel province to meet 2017 coal capacity cuts by September: paper
  10. Construction in China's 'skyscraper capital' #Shenzhen shows little sign of slowing: Of the 128 buildings over 200 meters tall that were completed in the world last year, 70% were in China, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)
In SciTech news
  1. China embraces era of staff-free shopping
  2. China commits to achieving parity with US AI development by 2020
  3. Chinese Scientists Protest Genetic Research by Foreigners
  4. #Microsoft is throwing the weight of its Azure cloud infrastructure behind Baidu's open source autonomous driving project, Apollo, the companies announced
  5. US playing catchup with China in quest for first quantum computer
  6. China creates biggest virtual universe, beating European record
  7. #Lenovo hitches its wagon to AI, seeking to end PC dependence: "The AI we've developed is more significant than AlphaGo," Yang said. Lenovo's prototypes focus on health care and education -- areas of particular interest to consumers
  8. Cancer-death button gets jammed by gut bacterium. Researchers at Michigan Medicine and in China showed that a type of bacterium is associated with the recurrence of colorectal cancer and poor outcomes.
  9. Effects of a major drug target regulated through molecular 'codes'
  10. An experiment proposed by Stanford theorists finds evidence for the #Majoranafermion, a particle that’s its own antiparticle. The team was led by UC-Irvine Associate Professor Jing Xia and UCLA Professor Kang Wang, and followed a plan proposed by Shoucheng Zhang, professor of physics at Stanford
  11. China Ramping Up Quest to Become a Space Science Superpower
  12. China set to launch an 'unhackable' #internet communication: In the Jinan network, some 200 users from the military, government, finance and electricity sectors will be able to send messages safe in the knowledge that only they are reading them
In Economic news
  1. What happened to Wanda tycoon’s dream of a Chinese Hollywood?
  2. Is China Poised to Become the Top Dog in Luxury Pet Services?
  3. China's shedding its copycat image with #innovation after innovation. That was the repeated conclusion at one of Asia's largest tech conferences. JPMorgan's Ulrich said Chinese companies are leading in mobile payments, internet finance, drone manufacturing, social media and artificial intelligence
  4. Chinese brands have invaded #Indonesia fast-growing smartphone market: IDC found that Chinese companies accounted for 31 percent of the marketshare, up from 23 percent a year ago and 12 percent two years ago
  5. IMF may soon be moving to China – Christine Lagarde
  6. Economists Raise China GDP Forecast After Growth Beats Estimates
  7. Hyundai Motor posts 48 pct drop in Q2 net profit on China snub
  8. China's #solar industry is expected to produce 25 percent more panels in 2017 than last year, supported by domestic sales and demand from the United States and emerging markets, the head of a Chinese industry association said
  9. China’s #AIIB gathers three highest global credit ratings: S&P joins Moody’s and Fitch in show of confidence for infrastructure bank
  10. China to change state-owned firms into corporations
  11. Economic Watch: China's SOEs move ahead on market reform
  12. China's employment services benefit job-seekers in neighboring countries
  13. China: Rising wages drive companies to rely on robots, digital workforce
  14. Two China Tech Giants Join the $300B Club. Who’s Next?: #Alibaba and #Tencent exceeded $300 billion in market capitalization for the first time, placing these two Chinese tech companies in an elite group that, as of June 2017, only counts nine other companies globally among its members
  15. #Tencent Chief Overtakes Wanda's Wang as China's Second-Richest Person
  16. Chinese #Stocks Rise to 2015 High as Large Caps Extend Advance: Offshore-traded Chinese companies have outperformed mainland shares this year by a wide margin
  17. China establishes green #manufacturing alliance: More than 400 representatives from multinational enterprises, international institutions and foreign embassies attended the inauguration ceremony
  18. The killer fact about the Chinese middle class
  19. China continues to prove naysayers wrong
  20. Chinese police will strike hard against shady financial schemes because of the risk of social unrest from such fundraising ploys, according to the Public Security Ministry
In Military news
  1. China's #navy expands reach: To properly equip carrier battle groups, PLA has been on a ship-building frenzy. There was a dispute within China on whether the country should focus on aircraft carriers or submarines. But that debate has faded because China now has the economic resources to do both
  2. 'Joint Sea 2017’: Russia and China start their first drills in Baltic
  3. China’s new strategic #bomber likely to feature good stealth performance, a larger bomb load than the H-6K, nuclear and conventional strike, and strong electronic combat capability. Large-capacity data fusion and transmission, will be able to serve as a C4ISR node and interact with sensor platforms
  4. Russian #Baltic Fleet Shares Details of Naval Drills With China: naval forces will practice anti-submarine warfare, as well as air and anti-ship defense. The drills will involve nearly ten ships of different classes, over ten aircraft and helicopters of both the Russian and Chinese naval forces
  5. Chinese fighter jets intercept US spy plane over East China Sea - FT
  6. China urges US to stop 'unfriendly' recon flights
  7. Russian-Chinese naval drills in Baltic Sea to enter active phase
  8. Chinese military sets up hi-tech weapons research agency
  9. Chinese military sets up hi-tech weapons agency
  10. I’d launch nukes at China on Trump's orders, says US Pacific Fleet chief
  11. China bestows highest military award on ten honorees
  12. America Needs a New ‘Dreadnought Strategy’ How Chinese military hardware is catching up and have a faster adoption rate than US military hardwares
  13. China’s New Drone-Missile Hybrid (surface effect drone-missile) Can Fly Under Radar
  14. China's Zhurihe Training Base - Asia’s largest military training base
  15. How China Could Trick the U.S. Navy With Ultraquiet #Submarines: With better technology, the PLAN's undersea fleet would go on the offensive. Adm. Ma recently reported on state-run CCTV that shipwrights are installing shaftless rim-driven pumpjets in China’s “next-generation nuclear submarines,”
  16. Chinese naval fleet arrives in #Greece for friendly visit
Other Notables
  1. Chinese, Russian sailors play tug-of-war in Kaliningrad, Russia
  2. Members of Team China celebrate their victory after men's 4x100m relay at the IAAF Diamond League meet in Monaco
  3. How the OECD shifted from standard testing to computer-based testing to give Western countries an advantage over China
  4. Are China’s “Leftover Women” really leftover? - A interesting working paper that suggest Chinese women with college or more education have similar or higher marriage completion rates than other groups by age 35
  5. Amazing views of #Jiangsu Grand Theater in East China, which is to start operation in August
  6. Full Marx for Creativity: Reforming Political Education in China
  7. Debating the future of China-Latin America relations
  8. John Cena freestyling in Mandarin
  9. From L: Italy's Gabriele Detti, China's Sun Yang and Australia's Mack Horton, celebrate on the podium of the men's 400m freestyle final during the 2017 FINA World Championships
  10. Fareed Zakaria reported that since 1981, 95% of the global reduction in poverty was the work of China alone.
  11. Youtube Channels
  12. Jiangsu Police Make Sitcom, Achieve Stardom
  13. "when it's something positive, everybody jumps in and say that's not China, but when shit happens, it's better for the world mistakenly think it's bad China or because it's Chinese, this phenomenon also applies to Hong Kong and many overseas Chinese."
  14. The New Chinese World Order (2016 Documentary)
  15. Why Chinese Sci-Fi Fans Love Homegrown Heroes
  16. China Offers $15,000 for Each Deciphered Character of Mystery Text on Ancient Oracle Bones
  17. Best Grandpa Ever Walks 37 Miles to Give His Grandson a Bucket of Eggs in China
  18. Higher Brothers - Why Not
  19. China's state-owned enterprises' profits increase 24% in H1
  20. How China's Growing Nationalism Changes Views of the West
  21. Mandarin in Hollywood, how much can you actually understand?
  22. LOST LOVE IN TIMES Trailer
  23. Sky News video
  24. Members of the gold medal winner Team China show their medals during the awarding ceremony of women's team free combination synchronized swimming final of the 17th FINA World Championships 2017
  25. Linking Star Picture to Develop Superhero Projects From POW!
  26. Monkey King: Hero Is Back Announcement Trailer | PlayStation 4 | ChinaJoy 2017
  27. (x-post AI)Come in and read. China's GDP is larger than you think and there is an independent study by a highly established western institution to prove it.
  28. Check out the comment section: China Sun Yang beats rival Mack Horton swimming finals(youtube)
  29. Why the US doesn’t understand Chinese thought – and must
  30. #MMA hoping to ‘awaken the dragon’ with China to host Asian Open Championship in 2018: China International Mixed Martial Arts Federation mission is to regulate, standardise and to promote MMA sports within the Greater China region (including Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau)
  31. Lets make a tier list for all the anti-China Western medias, how far each one is willing to go, turn a blind eye to truth or distort or even make up things pushing a certain rhetoric
  32. China’s Maritime Provocations Are Nothing Next To America’s Adventurism A Century Ago
  33. On Screen China: Nationalist Films Heat Up Frigid Summer Box Office
  34. The Higher Brothers, China’s Next Rappers Making It Big
  35. Experience a Staffless Cashless AI Convenience Store in Beijing, China
  36. China's Century of Humiliation Comprehensive documentary
  37. WTF Falun Gong Held a Parade to Celebrate the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake
  38. (Throwback) Chinese Foreign Minister SHUTS DOWN White Female Ignorant Orientalist Views Like a BOSS
  39. Chinese diplomat becomes a national heartthrob.
  40. Chinese man adopts 400 orphans to train them into MMA fighters
  41. Aerial view of world's longest desert expressway, linking Beijing to Xinjiang
  42. Taiwan Sunflower Student Leaders: 1 went to work in mainland (under assumed name), "Queen" of movement was a prostitute
  43. Confusing Story About a Chinese Canadian Man Accused of Spying for Both Taiwan and Mainland China
  44. CELEBRITY RANKINGS BY CCSMART AND FORBES
  45. After the success of the anime version, Yang Yang(Love O2O) and Dilraba Dilmurat(Eternal Love) casted for upcoming e-sports/gaming drama "The King's Avatar"
  46. China can dominate world #snooker, says England star Selby: Players from the mainland are coming up and could occupy half of the world’s top 16 players in the future, according to UK and world champion
  47. [全职高手] The King's Avatar OVA trailer
  48. Oversea Chinese Dominate Regeneron STS (Intel STS)
  49. 中國標準動車組“復興號”的前世今生 官方宣傳片 - YouTube
  50. Military parade commemorating the 90th anniversary of the PLA is live right now
  51. #PrincessAgents is the first cdrama ever to hit 40billion total online views while the drama is still airing
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