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The truth behind Puskás Akadémia FC - How Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán stole a legend, built a stadium in his backyard and guided his team to Europe

The 2019/2020 season of the Hungary’s National Football League (NB1) – being one of the first leagues to restart play - came to an end on 27 June. If a casual observer (for whatever reason) decides to check out the final standings, he would be not surprised at the first two positions: record-champion Ferencváros defended their title, while regional powerhouse Fehérvár (Videoton) came in second. However, the third place team, Puskás Akadémia FC might seem unusual and one could think that there is a story behind that. Is there a team named after Ferenc Puskás? Did some academy youths make an incredible run for the Europa League qualification? Well, the observer is right, there is a story behind all this, but it’s absolutely not a fun story. It’s a story about how one powerful man’s obsession with football stole a legend, misused state funds and killed the spirit of Hungarian football. (Warning: this is a long story, feel free to scroll down for a tl;dr. Also, I strongly advise checking out the links, those images are worth seeing).
Naturally, political influence in football has been present ever since the dawn of the sport and we know of numerous state leaders who felt confident enough to use their influence to ensure the successful development of their favored clubs – Caucescu’s FC Olt Scornicesti and Erdogan’s Basaksehir are well-known examples of such attempts. However, I fear that very few of the readers are aware of the fact that Puskás Akadémia FC is nothing but Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán’s grandiose project for establishing his hometown’s club as one of the country’s top teams. Considering that Orbán managed to achieve this goal using state funds in an EU member democracy in the 2000s, one might even say that it might be one of the most impressive attempts of cheating your way through Football Manager in real life. Now that Puskás Akadémia FC escaped the desolate football scene of Hungary and is getting ready for the European takeover, I feel that it’s high time to tell its true story.

Part 1: Part time striker, part time PM

Our story begins in 1999 when the 36-year-old striker Viktor Orbán (recently elected as the country’s Prime Minister) was signed by the sixth-tier side of Felcsút FC residing in rural Fejér County. It might sound surprising that an active politician would consider such a side job, but given that Orbán has been playing competitive low-level football throughout his whole life and has always been known as a keen football enthusiast, people seemed to be okay with his choice for a hobby. Orbán spent most of his childhood in the village of Felcsút (population: 1,800), so it seemed only natural that he would join the team after one of his old-time acquaintances became team president there.
Orbán’s arrival to the club seemed to work like a charm as Felcsút FC immediately earned a promotion to the fifth league. The Prime Minister’s busy program did not allow him to attend every training session and game but Orbán did make an effort to contribute as much as possible on the field – there is a report of a government meeting being postponed as Orbán was unavailable due to attending Felcsút FC’s spring training camp. The 2001/2002 season brought another breakthrough for the side as Felcsút was promoted to the national level of the football pyramid after being crowned the champion of Fejér County. Sadly enough for Orbán, he suffered a defeat on another pitch – his party lost the 2002 election and Orbán was forced to move to an opposition role.
No matter what happened on the political playing field, Orbán would not abandon his club. Just before the 2002 elections, Felcsút was surprisingly appointed as one of the regional youth development centers by the Hungarian FA. Orbán continued contributing on the field as well (he had more spare time after all) but his off-the-field efforts provided much more value for the team as he used his political influence to convince right-wing businessmen that they should definitely get sponsorship deals done with the fourth-division village team.
Club management was able to transform the influx of funds into on-field success: Felcsút FC was promoted to the third division in 2004 and achieved promotion to the second division in 2005. Although these new horizons required a skill level that an aging ex-PM is not likely to possess, Orbán regularly played as a late game sub and even appeared in cup games against actual professional opponents. The now-42-year old Orbán did not want to face the challenge of the second division, so he retired in 2005 – but this did not stop him from temping as an assistant coach when the head coach was sacked in the middle of the 2005-2006 season.
Success on the playing field did not translate to political success: Orbán lost the elections once again in 2006. However, this was only a temporary loss: the ruling party committed blunder after blunder and by early 2007 it became absolutely obvious that Orbán would be able return to power in 2010. Now confident in his political future, Orbán opted for the acceleration of football development in Felcsút – by late 2007 he took over the presidency of the club to take matters in his own hands. Sponsors seeking to gain favor with the soon-to-be PM were swarming Felcsút FC, so the club was able to stand very strong in an era where financial stability was a very rare sight in the Hungarian football scene, accumulating three medals (but no promotion) between 2007 and 2009.
On the other hand, Orbán realized the value of youth development as well, and started a local foundation for this purpose back in 2004 that gathered funds for the establishment a boarding school-like football academy. The academy opened its doors in September 2006 (only the second of such institutions in the country) and Orbán immediately took upon the challenge of finding an appropriate name for the academy.
He went on to visit the now very sick Ferenc Puskás in the hospital to discuss using his name, but as Puskás’ medical situation was deteriorating rapidly, communication attempts were futile. Luckily enough Puskás’ wife (and soon to be widow) was able to act on his incapable husband’s behalf and approved the naming deal in a contract. According to the statement, naming rights were granted without compensation, as “Puskás would have certainly loved what’s happening down in Felcsút”. However, there was much more to the contract: Puskás’ trademark was handed to a sports journalist friend of Orbán (György Szöllősi, also acting communications director of the academy) who promised a hefty annual return for the family (and also a 45% share of the revenue for himself). Ferenc Puskás eventually died on 17 November 2006 and on 26 November 2006 the football academy was named after him: Puskás Academy was born.
Orbán shared his vision of the whole organization after the opening ceremony: “It’s unreasonable to think that Felcsút should have a team in the top division. We should not flatter ourselves, our players and our supporters with this dream. Our long term ambition is the creation of a stable second division team that excels in youth development and provides opportunity for the talents of the future.” Let’s leave that there.

Part 2: No stadium left behind

Orbán became PM once again in April 2010 after a landslide victory that pretty much granted him unlimited power. He chased lots of political agendas but one of his policies was rock solid: he would revive sports (and especially football) that was left to bleed out by the previous governments. The football situation in 2010 was quite dire: while the national team has actually made some progress in the recent years and has reached the 42nd position in the world rankings, football infrastructure was in a catastrophic state. Teams were playing in rusty stadiums built in the communist era, club finances were a mess, youth teams couldn’t find training grounds and the league was plagued by violent fan groups and lackluster attendance figures (3100 average spectators per game in the 2009/2010 season).
Orbán – aided by the FA backed by business actors very interested in making him happy – saw the future in the total rebuild of the football infrastructure. Vast amounts of state development funds were invested into the football construction industry that warmly welcomed corruption, cost escalation and shady procurement deals. In the end, money triumphed: over the last decade, new stadiums sprung out from nothing all over the country, dozens of new academies opened and pitches for youth development appeared on practically every corner. The final piece of the stadium renovation program was the completion of the new national stadium, Puskás Aréna in 2019 (estimated cost: 575 million EUR). Orbán commemorated this historic moment with a celebratory video on his social media that features a majestic shot of Orbán modestly kicking a CGI ball from his office to the new stadium.
Obviously, Orbán understood that infrastructure alone won’t suffice. He believed in the idea that successful clubs are the cornerstone of a strong national side as these clubs would compete in a high quality national league (and in international tournaments) that would require a constant influx of youth players developed by the clubs themselves. However, Orbán was not really keen on sharing the state’s infinite wealth with private club owners who failed to invest in their clubs between 2002 and 2010. The club ownership takeover was not that challenging as previous owners were usually happy to cut their losses, and soon enough most clubs came under Orbán’s influence. Some clubs were integrated deep into Orbán’s reach (Ferencváros and MTK Budapest club presidents are high ranking officials of Orbán’s party) while in other cases, indirect control was deemed sufficient (Diósgyőri VTK was purchased by a businessman as an attempt to display loyalty to Orbán).
Pouring taxpayer money into infrastructure (stadium) projects is relatively easy: after all, we are basically talking about overpriced government construction projects, there’s nothing new there. On the other hand, allocating funds to clubs that should be operating on a competitive market is certainly a tougher nut to crack. The obvious solutions were implemented: the state media massively overpaid for broadcasting rights and the national sports betting agency also pays a hefty sum to the FA, allowing for a redistribution of considerable amounts. However, given that the income side of Hungarian clubs was basically non-existent (match day income is negligible, the failed youth development system does not sell players), an even more radical solution was desperately needed. Also, there was definite interest in the development of a tool that would allow for differentiation between clubs (as in the few remaining non-government affiliated clubs should not receive extra money).
The solution came in 2011: the so-called TAO (“társasági adó” = corporate tax) system was introduced, granting significant tax deductions for companies if they offered a portion of their profits to sports clubs – however, in theory, funds acquired through TAO can be only used for youth development and infrastructure purposes. Soon enough, it became apparent that state authorities were not exactly interested in the enforcement of these restrictions, so some very basic creative accounting measures enabled clubs to use this income for anything they wanted to. Companies were naturally keen on cutting their tax burdens and scoring goodwill with the government, so TAO money immediately skyrocketed. Opportunistic party strongmen used their influence to convince local business groups to invest in the local clubs, enabling for the meteoric rise of multiple unknown provincial teams (Mezőkövesd [pop: 16,000], Kisvárda [pop: 16,000], Balmazújváros [pop: 17,000]) into the first division.
Although it’s not the main subject of this piece, I feel inclined to show you the actual results of Orbán’s grandiose football reform. While we do have our beautiful stadiums, we don’t exactly get them filled – league attendance has stagnated around 3000 spectators per game throughout the whole decade. We couldn’t really move forward with our national team either: Hungary lost 10 positions in the FIFA World Rankings throughout Orbán’s ten years. On the other hand, the level of league has somewhat improved – Videoton and Ferencváros reached the Europa League group stage in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Too bad that the Instat-based top team of 2019/2020 Hungarian league consists of 10 foreigners and only 1 Hungarian: the goalkeeper.

Part 3: Small place, big game!

As seen in the previous chapter, Orbán did have a strong interest in the improvement of the football situation Hungary, but we shouldn’t forget that his deepest interest and true loyalty laid in the wellbeing of Felcsút and its academy. Now that Orbán had limitless means to see to the advancement of his beloved club, he got to work immediately. Orbán handed over formal club management duties to his friend / protégé / middleman / businessman Lőrinc Mészáros in 2010, but no questions would ever arise of who is actually calling the shots.
First of all, no club can exist without a proper stadium. Although in 2011 Orbán explicitly stated that “Felcsút does not need a stadium as stadiums belong to cities”, no one was really surprised in 2012 when the construction of the Felcsút stadium was announced. Orbán was generous enough to donate the lands just in front of his summer home in the village for the project, locating the entrance a mere ten meters away from his residence. Construction works for the stunningly aesthetic 3,800-seater arena (in a village of 1,800 people) started in April 2012 and were completed in April 2014, making Felcsút’s arena the second new stadium of Orbán’s gigantic stadium revival program.
The estimated budget of the construction was 120 million EUR (31,500 EUR / seat) was financed by the Puskás Academy who explicitly stated that they did not use government funds for the project. Technically, this statement is absolutely true as the construction was financed through the TAO money offered by the numerous companies looking for tax deduction and Orbán’s goodwill. However, technically, this means that the country’s budget was decreased by 120 million EUR unrealized tax revenue. Naturally, the gargantuan football stadium looks ridiculously out of place in the small village, but there’s really no other way to ensure that your favorite team’s stadium is within 20 seconds of walking distance from your home.
Obviously, a proper club should also have some glorious history. Felcsút was seriously lagging behind on this matter as though Felcsút FC was founded in 1931, it spent its pre-Orbán history in the uninspiring world of the 5th-7th leagues of the country. Luckily enough, Orbán had already secured Puskás’ naming rights and they were not afraid to use it, so Felcsút FC was renamed to Puskás Academy FC in 2009. The stadium name was a little bit problematic as the Hungarian national stadium in Budapest had sadly had the dibs on Puskás’ name, so they had to settle with Puskás’ Spanish nickname, resulting in the inauguration of the Pancho Arena. But why stop here? Orbán’s sports media strongman György Szöllősi acted upon the contract with Puskás’ widow and transferred all Puskás’ personal memorabilia (medals, jerseys, correspondence) to the most suitable place of all: a remote village in which Puskás never even set foot in.
While the off-field issues were getting resolved, Orbán’s attention shifted to another important area: the actual game of football. Although academy players started to graduate from 2008 on, it very soon became painfully obvious that the academy program couldn’t really maintain even a second division side for now. In 2009, Orbán reached an agreement with nearby Videoton’s owner that effectively transformed Felcsút FC into Videoton’s second team under the name of Videoton – Puskás Akadémia FC. The mutually beneficent agreement would allow Videoton to give valuable playing time to squad players while it could also serve as a skipping step for Puskás Academy’s fresh graduates to a first league team. The collaboration resulted in two mid-table finishes and a bronze medal in the second division in the following three seasons that wasn’t really impressive compared to Felcsút FC’s standalone seasons.
It seemed that the mixture of reserve Videoton players and academy youth was simply not enough for promotion, and although Orbán had assured the public multiple times that his Felcsút project was not aiming for the top flight, very telling changes arose after the 2011/2012 season. Felcsút terminated the Videoton cooperation deal and used the rapidly accumulating TAO funds to recruit experienced players for the now independently operating Puskás Academy FC (PAFC). The new directive worked almost too well: PAFC won its division with a 10 point lead in its first standalone year which meant that they would have to appear in the first league prior to the completion of their brand-new Pancho Arena. Too bad that this glorious result had almost nothing to do with the academy - only two players were academy graduates of the side’s regular starting XI.
Orbán did not let himself bothered with the ridiculousness of an academy team with virtually no academy players being promoted to the first division as he stated that “a marathon runner shouldn’t need to explain why the other runners were much slower than him”. Orbán also displayed a rare burst of modesty as he added that “his team’s right place is not in the first league, and they will soon be overtaken by other, better sides”.
The promotion of PAFC to the first division made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. Supporter groups were united in hatred all along the league and not surprisingly, away fans almost always outnumbered the home side at PAFC’s temporary home at Videoton’s Sóstói Stadium (demolished and rebuilt in its full glory since then). One of the teams, however, possessed an extraordinary degree of anger against PAFC: supporters of Budapest Honvéd – the only Hungarian team in which Ferenc Puskás played – felt especially awkward about the transfer of their club legend’s heritage to Felcsút. Tensions spiked at the PAFC – Honvéd game when home security forced Honvéd supporters to remove the “Puskás” part of their traditional “Puskás – Kispest – Hungary” banner – the team answered the insult with style as they secured a 4-0 victory supported by fans chanting “you can’t buy legends”.
Despite Orbán’s prognosis, other better sides did not rush to overtake his team, so PAFC, now residing in their brand new Pancho Arena, came through with a 14th and a 10th place in their first two seasons. Naturally, conspiracy theories began to formulate, speculating that government-friendly owners would certainly not be motivated to give their best against PAFC. However, as the league size was reduced to 12 for the 2015/2016 season, PAFC found themselves in a dire situation just before the final round: they needed a win and needed rival Vasas to lose against MTK in order to avoid relegation. PAFC’s draw seemed to be unlucky as they faced their arch-enemy Honvéd at home, but Honvéd displayed an absolute lackluster effort – fueling conspiracy theories – and lost the fixture 2 to 1 against a home side featuring four academy players. Vasas, however, did not disappoint, their 2-0 victory resulted in PAFC’s elimination and a very relaxed sigh all over the football community.
PAFC’s relegation seemed to be in accordance with Orbán’s 2013 statement, so public opinion supposed for a while that Orbán’s project came to a halting point and the Academy would go on to actually field academy players in the second division (especially as rostering foreign players was prohibited in the lower leagues). However, if you have read through this point, you know better than to expect Orbán to retreat – obviously, PAFC came back with a bang. With a ballsy move, PAFC didn’t even sell their foreign players, they just loaned them across the league, promising them that they would be able to return next year to the newly promoted team. The promise was kept as PAFC went into another shopping spree of experienced players (easily convincing lots of them to choose the second division instead of the first) and easily won the second league.
Orbán – now aware of his negligence – opted for the doubling the team’s budget, making PAFC the third most well-founded club in the whole country (only coming short to his friend’s Videoton and his party minion’s Ferencváros). With an actual yearly influx from TAO money in the ballpark of 30-40 million EUR, PAFC management had to really work wonders in creative accounting in order to make their money look somewhat legitimate. The books were now full of ridiculous items like:
Naturally, in the country of no consequences, absolutely nothing happened: PAFC went on with its spending and signed 35 foreigners between 2017 and 2020. They did so because they could not hope to field a winning team in the first league consisting of academy players, despite the fact that Puskás Academy has been literally drowning in money since 2007. This seems to somewhat contradict Orbán’s 2013 promise, stating that “Puskás Academy will graduate two or three players to major European leagues each year”. To be fair, there have been players who managed to emerge to Europe (well, exactly two of them: Roland Sallai plays at Freiburg, László Kleinheisler played at Werder Bremen) but most academy graduates don’t even have the slightest the chance to make their own academy’s pro team as it’s full of foreigners and more experienced players drawn for other teams’ programs.
Despite their unlimited funding, PAFC could not put up a top-tier performance in their first two years back in the first division, finishing 6th and 7th in the 12-team league. Many speculated that the lack of support, motivation and even a clear team mission did not allow for chemistry to develop within the multinational and multi-generational locker room. Consistency was also a rare sight on the coaching side: club management was absolutely impatient with coaches who were very easily released after a single bad spell and there were talks of on-field micromanagement request coming from as high as Orbán.
Even so, their breakthrough came dangerously close in 2018 as PAFC performed consistently well in the cup fixtures and managed to reach the final. Their opponent, Újpest played an incredibly fierce game and after a 2-2 draw, they managed to defeat PAFC in the shootout. Football fans sighed in relief throughout the country as ecstatic Újpest supporters verbally teased a visibly upset Orbán in his VIP lounge about his loss.
Obviously, we could only delay the inevitable. While this year’s PAFC side seemed to be more consistent than its predecessors, it seemed that they won’t be able to get close to the podium - they were far behind the obvious league winner duo of Ferencváros and Videoton and were trailing third-place Mezőkövesd 6 points just before the pandemic break. However, both Mezőkövesd and PAFC’s close rivals DVTK and Honvéd fall flat after the restart while PAFC was able to maintain its good form due to its quality roster depth. PAFC overtook Mezőkövesd after the second-to-last round as Mezőkövesd lost to the later relegated Debrecen side. (Mezőkövesd coach Attila Kuttor was fined harshly because of his post-game comments on how the FA wants PAFC to finish third.)
PAFC faced Honvéd in the last round once again, and as Honvéd came up with its usual lackluster effort, PAFC secured an effortless win, confidently claiming the third place. PAFC celebrated their success in a nearly empty stadium, however neither Orbán, nor Mészáros (club owner, Orbán’s protégé, now 4th richest man of Hungary) seemed to worry about that. While Orbán high-fived with his peers in the VIP lounge, Mészáros was given the opportunity to award the bronze medals (and for some reason, a trophy) to the players dressed up in the incredibly cringe worthy T-shirts that say “Small place, big game!”. Big game, indeed: in the 2019/2020 season, foreign players’ share of the teams playing time was 43.6% while academy graduates contributed only 17.9%.
On Sunday evening, less than 24 hours after PAFC’s glorious success, György Szöllősi, now editor-in-chief of Hungary’s only sports newspaper (purchased by Orbán’s affiliates a few years back) published an editorial on the site, stating that “the soccer rebuild in Felcsút became the motor and symbol of the revitalization of sport throughout the whole country”. Well, Szöllősi is exactly right: Felcsút did became a symbol, but a symbol of something entirely different. Felcsút became a symbol of corruption, inefficiency, lies and the colossal waste of money. But, hey, at least we know now: you only need to spend 200 million EUR (total budget of PAFC and its academy in the 2011-2020 period) if you want to have a Europa League team in your backyard. Good to know!

Epilogue: What's in the future?

As there is no foreseeable chance for political change to happen Hungary (Orbán effortlessly secured qualified majority in 2014 and 2018, and is projected to do so in 2022 as well), PAFC’s future seems to be as bright as it gets. Although consensus opinion now seems to assume that Orbán does not intend to interfere with the Ferencváros – Videoton hegemony, we can never be really sure about the exact limits of his greed. One could also argue that entering the European theater serves as a prime opportunity for making splashy transfers who could be the cornerstones of a side challenging the league title.
However, as all political systems are deemed to fall, eventually Orbán’s regime will come apart. Whoever will take upon the helm after Orbán, they will certainly begin with cutting back on the one item on Orbán’s agenda that never had popular support: limitless football spending. Puskás Academy, having next to zero market revenue, will not be able to survive without the state’s life support, so the club will fold very shortly. The abandoned, rotting stadium in Felcsút will serve as a memento of a powerful man who could not understand the true spirit of football.
But let’s get back to present day, as we have more pressing issues coming up soon: PAFC will play their first European match in the First qualifying round of the Europa League on 27 August. We don’t have a date for the draw yet, but soon enough, a team unaware of the whole situation will be selected to face the beast. I hope that maybe one of their players does some research and maybe reads this very article for inspiration. I hope that the supporters of this club get in touch with Honvéd fans who would be eager to provide them with some tips on appropriate chants. I hope that other teams gets drawn as the home team so Orbán wouldn’t get the pleasure of walking to his stadium for an international match. But most importantly, I very much hope that this team obliterates PAFC and wipes them off the face of the earth. 5-0 will suffice, thank you.
And if this team fails to do that, we don’t have to worry yet. Due to our shitty league coefficient, PAFC would need to win four fixtures in a row. And that – if there’s any justice in this world – is a thing that can’t, that won’t happen. Ball don’t lie – if I may say.
TL,DR
Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán redirected some 200 million EUR of taxpayer money over 10 years to fuel his ambition of raising a competitive football team in his hometown of 1,800 people. He built a 3,800-seater stadium in his backyard, expropriated football legend Ferenc Puskás’ trademarks and heritage and built up a football league where almost all clubs are owned by his trustees. His team, Puskás Akadémia FC was originally intended to be a development ground for youth players graduating from Orbán’s football academy, but eventually the team became more and more result-orianted. Finally, a roster full of foreign and non-academy players came through and finished third in the league, releasing this abomination of a team to the European football theatre. Please, knock them out asap!
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Law school laptop around $700ish. prefer 13" screen. No Macs please. Based in USA.

Total budget (in local currency) and country of purchase. Please do not use USD unless purchasing in the US:
feel free to suggest anything up to around $900 USD, but I am ideally looking to spend more in the $600-$700 range. Will be purchasing in the US.
Are you open to refurbs/used?
refurbs, yes. Used, probably not.
How would you prioritize form factor (ultrabook, 2-in-1, etc.), build quality, performance, and battery life?
I'm not entirely sure I understand this section. But I would prefer if the laptop had good build quality, performance and battery life? Those things sound good, but I probably don't need something that does exceptionally well. I don't think I want a 2-in-1 just because I've never used one.
How important is weight and thinness to you?
Not a deal breaker if it's a little heavy, but I will be taking it around places once we are no longer locked down. So it can't be massive. But average weight and thinness is probably fine. Just needs to be reasonably portable.
Do you have a preferred screen size? If indifferent, put N/A. Nothing too big here please. probably 15" max, but 13" would be ideal. I have an external monitor for home and 13" is big enough for when I'm on the go. Could even go a little lower, though I'm not sure if there are a lot of laptops with screens that small.
Are you doing any CAD/video editing/photo editing/gaming? List which programs/games you desire to run.
Nope. None of this stuff. I have a big clunky laptop for that kind of stuff. This one will be just for school. So things like word processing and reading PDFs. I mostly do word processing on Google Docs, if that matters at all.
If you're gaming, do you have certain games you want to play? At what settings and FPS do you want?
N/A won't be gaming.
Any specific requirements such as good keyboard, reliable build quality, touch-screen, finger-print reader, optical drive or good input devices (keyboard/touchpad)?
Keyboard is extremely important. I really dislike the keyboard on my older Dell gaming laptop and on my work MacBook (with the newer keyboard everyone hates), so this is actually why I am getting a laptop for school.
Leave any finishing thoughts here that you may feel are necessary and beneficial to the discussion.
I am leaning towards a Lenovo because of their reputation for their good keyboards. But I was a little overwhelmed when looking at all their options. So would love some Lenovo recs.
For example, was thinking may ThinkPad E14, but no idea if I should upgrade from "10th Gen Intel® Core™ i3-10110U (2.10GHz, up to 4.10GHz with Turbo Boost, 2 Cores, 4MB Cache)" to "10th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-10210U (1.60GHz, up to 4.20GHz with Turbo Boost, 4 Cores, 6MB Cache)" for $135. Or if 4GB of memory is enough for my basic needs. See Here
Needs to have an hdmi port for hooking up to my external monitor.
Probably don't need to say this given my budget, but no Macs please.
edit: just saw someone post this in another thread and it's now what I'm leaning towards. It is a 2-in-1, which I don't really need, but shouldn't be a problem. since it's not like something is stopping from just using it as a regular laptop at all times. amazon.com/dp/B086226DDB/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_YdRYEbR814BFDx (this could be an affiliate link since another user posted it, but it's not my link)
submitted by PBcuresHiccups to SuggestALaptop [link] [comments]

The Truth About Climate Change. The Rabbit Hole Goes Much Deeper than Fake IPCC Conclusions.....

Source
“The data doesn't matter. We're not basing our recommendations on the data. We're basing them on the climate models.”
“The models are convenient fictions that provide something very useful.”
"It doesn't matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true."
"Unless we announce disasters no one will listen."
"No matter if the science of global warming is all phony... climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world."
Now on to the Club of Rome.
"The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself."
"We need to get some broad based support, to capture the public's imagination... So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts... Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest."
"We've got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy."
"Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
"[The Earth Summit will play an important role in] reforming and strengthening the United Nations as the centerpiece of the emerging system of democratic global governance."
"The concept of national sovereignty has been an immutable, indeed sacred, principle of international relations. It is a principle which will yield only slowly and reluctantly to the new imperatives of global environmental cooperation. It is simply not feasible for sovereignty to be exercised unilaterally by individual nation states, however powerful. The global community must be assured of environmental security."
"I believe it is appropriate to have an 'over-representation' of the facts on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience."
Maurice Strong sits on the board of directors for CCX.
Back before he became U.S. President Obama served on the board of directors for the Joyce Foundation when it gave CCX nearly $1.1 million in two separate grants that were instrumental in developing and launching the privately-owned Chicago Climate Exchange, which now calls itself “North America’s only cap and trade system for all six greenhouse gases, with global affiliates and projects worldwide.”
Essentially Obama helped fund the profiteers of the carbon taxation program that he then steered steered through Congress.
"The threat of environmental crisis will be the 'international disaster key' that will unlock the New World Order."
Mikhail Gorbachev, Former President of the Soviet Union, member of the Club of Rome
"We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order."
"We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries."
"Some even believe we (the Rockefeller family) are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure 'one world', if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it."
**Other Club of Rome members include Tony Blair, George Soros Henry Kissinger, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Javier Solana, Kofi Annan, Bill Gates, The Dalai Lama, Hassan bin Talal, Javier Perez de Cuellar, Gro Harlem Bruntland, Robert Muller, Garret Hardin, King Juan Carlos of Spain and his wife Queen Sophia, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Prince Philippe of Belgium and many more people that include wealthy elites, 'new age spiritualists', former or current world political figures and former or current U.N. figures. **
See this link for much more! - http://www.green-agenda.com/globalrevolution.html
Additional Information
Watch Lord Christopher Monckton (Former Adviser to Margaret Thatcher) Speaking in St. Paul on the real purpose of the Copenhagen Treaty - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stij8sUybx0
Beware the UN's Copenhagen plot - http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/beware-the-uns-copenhagen-plot/story-e6frg6qx-1225791869745
One World Government The Real Aim of Environmentalism - http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/16694
The Marxist roots of the global warming scare - http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/vernon/080616
Al Gore could become world's first carbon billionaire - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/6491195/Al-Gore-could-become-worlds-first-carbon-billionaire.html
Obama’s involvement in Chicago Climate Exchange—the rest of the story - http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/9629
This site provides damning evidence of the agenda - http://green-agenda.com/
Club of Rome's Depopulation Agenda
"The Earth has cancer and the cancer is Man."
"… the resultant ideal sustainable population is hence more than 500 million but less than one billion.”
"A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people…. We must shift our efforts from the treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many apparently brutal and heartless decisions."
"I believe that human overpopulation is the fundamental problem on Earth Today”
“We humans have become a disease, the Humanpox.”
“World population needs to be decreased by 50%”
“We must speak more clearly about sexuality, contraception, about abortion, about values that control population, because the ecological crisis, in short, is the population crisis. Cut the population by 90% and there aren’t enough people left to do a great deal of ecological damage.”
“A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”
In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it is just as bad not to say it.
"If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels."
submitted by Venus230 to climateskeptics [link] [comments]

To support a statue of Matthew Gaines, we need to know why.

I want to preface this by saying this has no bearing on Sully's statue staying or going. We can put up other statues as we see fit (and can fund) without keeping or removing others. TL;DR at the bottom, otherwise, buckle up.
We have seen 3 pushes to raise a statue of Matthew Gaines (with the entire 12th Legislature as a footnote) on campus. One back in the late 90's, another circa 2007, and again, here in 2020. These efforts are promoting Gaines as "instrumental", "crucial", "pivotal", etc to the formation of Texas A&M through his "implementation of the federal Morrill Act. It certainly makes it sound as if he deserves a statue, and specifically one here at Texas A&M. But a bit of digging quickly brings up questions...
If you start Googling Matthew Gaines, nothing comes up about him and Texas A&M outside of comments and opinion pieces by individuals associated with the Matthew Gaines Initiative/Memorial Council. Even one of the Wikipedia citations uses one of their unsourced statements. This is not inherently concerning because, after all, he didn't attend Texas A&M...it didn't exist.
So if you dig up the old Senate records from the 12th legislative session, you find that Texas had 2 Black Senators; Gaines and George T. Ruby. Ruby was also a staunch supporter for education and black equality in his own right. I have seen absolutely no one supporting a Gaines statue mention this man's name in any capacity anywhere I found. If you pull up the Senate Journal and scroll down to page 681 (or Cntrl+F search for "mech" it will be the 3rd result), you can find that Senator Saylor suspended the rules to have SB 276 brought to a vote. It passed 21-4 and both Gaines and Ruby voted for it. It passed handily, with bipartisan support from the Black senators, the former Confederate Senators, and even a former Union solder Senator from California (transplants, amirite?). Nothing in these Senate records indicate this was a difficult vote or that it was controversial.
So if you dig up the House record from the 12th Legislature, you find that Texas had 12 Black House members; none of which I have ever seen named by anyone supporting a statue of Matthew Gaines on campus. Admittedly, there is much less information about these individuals out there, but to not even name them concerns me. If you pull up the House Journal on their vote for SB 276 and scroll down to page 1023 (Cntrl+F "Mech" and it's the 30th result), you can find where the 3rd reading was passed 40-26. Of the 12 Black House members in the House, 5 of them didn't vote at all (Dupree, Mullens, Burley, Medlock, and R. Williams). This was the 3rd reading because the first and second people tried to reduce the amount of money and make an amendment to it and it failed; Gaines' name was not mentioned in any of the readings, nor were any of the Black House member's names mentioned as presenting it, sponsoring it, etc.
An opinion piece the Houston Chronicle by Jason D. Schall, "advocacy chairman of the Matthew Gaines Memorial Council, is a 2002 graduate of Texas A&M University" states that Gaines is "one of Texas' first Aggies". This is blatantly not true as he never attended A&M, couldn't have for 5 years after his vote was cast, and if he's doing it as a honorary Aggie-type of thing, then he should mention that.
Further on in the piece, Schall states "14 newly elected black state lawmakers led by Republican State Sen. Matthew Gaines...". I can find nothing to indicate he "led" those lawmakers. It would be uncommon for 1 man to lead groups on both sides of the aisle in the first place. His leadership also allowed 5 of them to miss the vote in the House; 5 out of 12 missing doesn't indicate much leadership to me.
Schall goes on, "Because the act also required the creation of a school for blacks, many white Texans undoubtedly opposed Texas participation in the program." The 12th Legislature was dominated by Republicans who supported education and were more pro-Black than those many white Texans. In The Texas State Constitution: A Reference Guide by Janice C. May, she wrote "The Republican-dominated Twelfth Legislature (1870-1872)...". It's hard to find party affiliations for some of those people, so I used her book for a source on that fact.
Schall goes on to quote Dr. Dale Baum (A&M professor), except he doesn't actually quote him. He doesn't put anything in quotations so we can't really be sure if it's a quote, a paraphrase, or what. But the gist of it is that those 14 men played a significant role in getting the bill passed. I, however, fail to see how 2 out of 21 is playing a major role when only 4 voted against it. I also fail to see how 7 out of 40 is playing a major role when only 26 voted against it AND you had 5 not even show up to vote. I fail to see how Gaines, specifically, played a major role other than casting 1 vote. He didn't read it, he didn't make the motion to suspend the rules to have it read, etc.
In light of all that...why are we pushing for a statue of Matthew Gaines instead of any of the other Black legislators (or at least the ones who voted)? Why are we not reaching into A&M's past and pulling some of our prominent, black former students? Why are we instead reaching back to someone who was just a general supporter of education for both whites and blacks and whose action was not remarkable from his peers at that time? One could argue that the Governor who signed it instead of vetoing it played a larger role than Gaines himself.
If there is evidence that Gaines lobbied for, pushed, whipped votes, etc...I can't find it and I have repeatedly asked for it on multiple platforms and of multiple people. None have yet responded with any evidence. (Including 3-4 threads on this sub).
TL;DR. Why Matthew Gaines instead of prominent, Black former students or any of the other legislators who voted on the same bill?
Edit 1: I have since found a digital copy of Black Leaders: Texans for Their Times by Alwyn Barr available through UNT's website. It appears Republicans in the 12th Leg. held a 10 vote majority (per the Houston Union in a Dec.9, 1869 article). Per that book, Gaines' "background was not notably different from that of several of his fellow black solons", which made his "action and attitude seem more extraordinary". It goes on to say that he was very vocal in debate and gained enemies in the Senate but attracted a loyal following among his constituents. It does not mention him "leading" a black delegation. He and Ruby were two very different politicians with different styles.
It should be noted that Pridgen appeared to really dislike Gaines on a personal level; yet still voted in favor of SB 276 later on.
The book goes on to describe Gaines being "one of the most active defenders" of desegregated free public education (which didn't apply to the unformed Texas A&M as of yet anyway). This is surely notable, but not in the context of Texas A&M. He argued with Dillard and Flanagan about this issue, but both of those men voted for SB 276 later on and public schools were obviously not desegregated, so he did not sway them. There is no mention of SB 276 itself in the book.
Dr. Dale Baum has a book, but there is only one mention of Matthew Gaines and it says he was "a self­taught former slave from Washington County who spoke up for black agricultural workers". Nothing else is mentioned.
submitted by TwiztedImage to aggies [link] [comments]

Beyond Ghislaine: The Maxwell Octopus

Robert Maxwell (born Ján Ludvík Hyman Binyamin Hoch) was born into a poor yiddish-speaking Jewish community in Czechoslovakia in 1923. When Nazi Germany invaded Czechoslovakia during the Second World War, Maxwell fled to France as part of an underground organization ferrying youth out of his homeland. Still a teenager, this would be his first taste of the world of spycraft, an occupation which would define the remainder of his inscrutable life. After several years spent engaged in underground resistance activities which saw him shuttled across Eastern Europe and the Middle East he eventually found himself back in France, now a member of the French Foreign Legion and an active participant in the French Resistance, utilizing the newly acquired pseudonym of Ivan du Maurier.
After participating in the Allied invasion of Normandy, Maxwell (soon to adopt the name of Leslie Johnson) was shortly recruited by British Intelligence. Already a seasoned veteran of international espionage, the young man's multilingualism and underground connections made him a valuable asset to the British government. He continued to work for Britain in the years leading up to the end of the war and in its immediate aftermath, ostensibly as a press attache to the foreign office in Berlin. His actual assignment was to interrogate captured German scientists, work likely done in conjunction with the Alsos Mission, a branch of the American Manhattan Project which cooperated with British forces to collect and classify information on Germany's atomic weapons program. Though the goal of Alsos was primarily to prevent sensitive information from falling into Soviet hands, Maxwell soon also became affiliated with Soviet intelligence due to his desire to seek out surviving relatives who still resided in his homeland, now under Soviet jurisdiction.
He changed his name for the last time in 1945, and as the newly-christened Captain Robert Maxwell married Elisabeth Meynard, a native of France and the future mother of all nine of his children. Still working for allied intelligence, Maxwell began to anticipate the value his work could have on the private market. He started to gather German and Russian scientific documents and research papers which were unknown in the English-speaking world, with the intention of later selling or publishing them for profit.
Meanwhile, in America, a young scientist and child of Czech immigrants by the name of Frank Malina was establishing an international reputation for himself in the field of rocketry and aeronautics. As a graduate student at Caltech, Malina and his longtime friend Jack Parsons founded the research center that would later become the Jet Propulsion Lab. Parsons, himself a brilliant young rocket scientist, was also an avid follower of notorious British occultist Aleister Crowley. Parsons' involvement with Crowley's Thelema movement was so deep that he would eventually become the leader of the California branch of the Ordo Templi Orientis, a Thelemite initiatory organization whose practices included ritualistic sex magic and the summoning of supernatural beings. Thelemites shunned traditional religion and morality in favor of a belief in the supreme power of the will, an echo of Hitler's Nazi philosophy which was itself rooted in the same spiritualist and theosophist ideas as Crowley's. The supreme goal of Thelema, as with all occult practices, is the ultimate union of mind and matter, the combination of the disciplines of science, art, philosophy and religion into a single comprehensible whole. While continuing to work closely with Malina at this time, Parsons also became closely affiliated with Scientology founder and fellow occultist L. Ron Hubbard.
Malina and Parsons went on to form the Aerojet Corporation, a rocket and missile manufacturer from which Parsons was ousted in 1944. In early 1945, Aerojet was purchased by General Tire, a company whose business included contracts with the U.S. military during the second World War. Later in 1945, Malina's research facility was moved to the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico where the first Atomic Bomb was detonated that same year.
Leaving the British Army in 1947, Robert Maxwell utilized his military and intelligence connections to go into business as the British and US distributor for Springer Verlag, a Berlin-based publisher of scientific texts which had been taken over by Allied forces after the war. Maxwell soon purchased a majority share of the company, which he re-dubbed Pergamon Press, a reference to the ancient Greek city and center of pagan worship of the same name. During this time, Maxwell also became heavily involved with the newly-designated Israeli intelligence service Mossad, a connection which would arguably remain his primary allegiance throughout the remainder of his life.
In 1947 Frank Malina left rocketry and his native country behind to move to France, ostensibly because he had grown disenchanted with the military applications of his research, although at this time he was also being investigated by the FBI for his undisclosed involvement with American communist organizations in his youth (an ideology Parsons had also toyed with before moving onto more esoteric concerns). Malina took a job in Paris as Secretariat of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), where he worked under famed English eugenicist Julian Huxley, the father of mysticist author Aldous Huxley.
Back in America, Parsons was also increasingly hounded by the FBI. He devised a plan to flee to Israel after he was offered a job working for the infant Israeli rocket program, but a suspicious transfer of documents led to allegations of espionage from the FBI (later dismissed in court). Parsons remained in America until his 1952 death in a mysterious laboratory explosion, the cause of which would never be sufficiently explained.
After his stint with UNESCO, Malina left the organization to pursue his interest in art. In 1968, while still living in Paris, he founded 'Leonardo', an academic journal published by MIT Press which covered the application of science to the arts. The journal remained his primary concern until his death from natural causes in 1981, at which point control of Leonardo turned over to his son Roger Malina.
Maxwell, meanwhile, was busy building his publishing and media empire, amassing a variety of subsidiaries including newspapers, television networks and tech companies. He spent six years as a Member of British Parliament in the 1960s before being defeated in the election of 1970. Though nominally a British citizen, all of his children were born in the wealthy suburbs of Paris, their mother's native land. As his wealth and influence rose, Maxwell remained deeply entangled with MI6, the KGB, the CIA and Mossad.
In the 1970s Maxwell became involved in an intelligence operation centered around PROMIS, a database management software program that could be described as a forerunner to modern internet search engines. PROMIS was groundbreaking in its time, allowing the user to aggregate disparate databases into a single accessible interface. Though initially designed to help prosecutor's offices track and share data, the program quickly caught the attention of intelligence agencies who foresaw its potential for monitoring and compiling information in a variety of fields. In a sense, their plan could be viewed as a nascent version of the information gathering activities which would be exposed by Edward Snowden decades later.
The U.S. Department of Justice hired two men with connections to the Israeli defense forces to infiltrate Inslaw, the company which had produced PROMIS, under the pretense of being potential buyers for the Israeli Public Prosecutor's office. In reality, the men were sent to steal PROMIS and bring it back to their clients in U.S. and Israeli intelligence without Inslaw's knowledge. Their mission accomplished, the thieves soon devised bigger plans for the software than its application to their own systems. They hatched a scheme to sell the software to foreign intelligence agencies with covert back doors, thus obtaining a worldwide database of the intelligence activities of all the major powers in the world. In order to enact this plan they needed a middle-man with deep connections in the global intelligence community, someone who would be trusted as a known quantity by all. Naturally, they turned to Robert Maxwell.
Maxwell used his corporate empire (he had quietly purchased several fledgling Israeli tech companies which served as fronts for the sales) to broker deals with China, the KGB, and anyone else who would be interested in the ground-breaking software. Before long he even began to double-cross his own handlers, helping create new backdoors for China and Israel so that they in turn could spy on the Americans. The software began to find its way into banking systems and government databases worldwide, growing into a vast interconnected network which came to be dubbed "The Octopus". At the head of this Octopus was not any particular state government or intelligence agency, but Robert Maxwell himself, the only man who had been able to game the technology to his own advantage without being taken advantage of in turn.
When Inslaw discovered how their technology was being used they filed a series of lawsuits against the DOJ alleging that PROMIS was illegally stolen from their company. Without these lawsuits, it is unlikely that any of the information regarding PROMIS would have ever come to light. The lawsuits were predictably ruled in favor of the US Government, bankrupting Inslaw in the process. Danny Casolaro, a journalist who was covering the story (the man who coined the term 'The Octopus') was found dead in a hotel room in 1991, his wrists slashed several times in an apparent suicide. Casolaro had complained of threatening phone calls in the days leading up to his death, and his family have long asserted that he was murdered.
Eventually, Maxwell's double-dealing caught up with him. At the behest of China's Secret Service he sold a compromised version of PROMIS to Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, birthplace of the American atomic bomb. This modified version of PROMIS installed at the Los Alamos facility was designed to give Chinese Intelligence access to America's nuclear secrets. The affair became the subject of several FBI investigations regarding Maxwell's conduct, documents regarding which have never been made publicly available except in a prohibitively redacted form. Western intelligence agencies, Israel in particular, were incensed at Maxwell's dealings with China, which they saw as a betrayal of his allegiance. For the first time, serious discussion of Maxwell as a potential liability began to take place.
In 1991, while travelling aboard his yacht 'The Lady Ghislaine' (named after his youngest and favorite daughter) Maxwell fell overboard into the Atlantic ocean. His body was recovered the next morning and the cause of his death was officially ruled as a heart attack which led to an accidental drowning. Rumors of his murder continue to persist to this day, occassionally spurred on by daughter Ghislaine herself. Robert Maxwell was buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, at a funeral attended by several Israeli government officials and known intelligence operatives.
In the aftermath of his death, Maxwell's empire fell apart. Financial improprieties were discovered and the Maxwell companies were soon bankrupt. The stage was set for a new generation of Maxwells to assume his position.
Twin sisters Isabel and Christine Maxwell moved to Silicon Valley in the 1980s, and despite having no apparent formal training in technology, founded the early internet search engine and e-mail provider Magellan. After selling this company, Christine would go on to form Chiliad, a data analysis company with its headquarters in the Washington D.C. suburb of Herndon, VA. An announcement on the appointment of Christine as the company's interim CEO in 2013 boasts
"The company’s Discovery/Alert big data search tool – operationally proven by the US law enforcement community – reaches across information stored in incompatible databases, documents and applications held in separate departments and organizations to provide the proactive, real-time situational awareness necessary for protection and preparedness."
-A perfectly accurate description of the PROMIS software co-opted by her father a few decades earlier. A 2008 article in Business Wire quotes Chiliad CEO Dan Ferranti as saying "In just a few years, Chiliad will be known as principal arms supplier to the information age."
In 1986 Christine married Roger Malina, the MIT-educated son of Frank Malina, and current editor of his father's 'Leonardo' journal. While it is unclear where and when the couple first met, it would seem that there was no shortage of opportunities for the two to cross paths considering their long shared family histories of involvement in Parisian society, technology, government service, and science publishing.
After two failed early marriages, Christine's twin sister Isabel would herself find love with a man named Al Seckel. Seckel was an avid atheist activist and collector of optical illusions, a self-styled intellectual whose academic credentials were overstated at best and non-existent at worst. The source of Seckel's finances were never entirely clear. He described himself as a dealer of rare books, but those who dealt with him in this capacity described him as a con artist and swindler. Seckel ingratiated himself with the academic society around Caltech and was well known for the lavish parties he threw, often packed with celebrities of academia and entertainment. His primary academic concern seemed to be the field of cognitive psychology, specifically the psychology of perception. It was a subject which surely overlapped with the interests of his brother-in-law, editor of the 'Leonardo' Roger Malina.
Many of Seckel and Malina's interests would also be shared by the longtime companion of their wives' younger sister Ghislaine, the namesake of the boat from which their father fell to his death. This man, Jeffrey Epstein, is likely already well-known to the reader. Ghislaine allegedly met Epstein in the early 1990s, a time when she was still heavily involved in her father's business dealings. Suffice it to say that Epstein would seem to fit right in with the Maxwell archetype- a shady cosmopolite of mysterious origins with unaccountable finances, questionable morality and deep ties to the worlds of scientific academia (especially at Caltech and MIT), technology, finance, French society, and, perhaps most importantly, international intelligence- specifically as related to the state of Israel. In 2010, two years after Epstein's conviction on charges of soliciting a child for prostitution, Al Seckel hosted a "private scientific conference" on Epstein's island which was attended by numerous superstars of scientific academia. As a side note, Epstein's island is known to contain a mysterious temple, the design of which makes use of optical illusions, labyrinthine motifs, a statue of Poseidon and twin golden owls, figures associated with occult and pagan symbolism. The purpose of the temple has never been fully explained.
Al Seckel would eventually be found dead in 2015 near his home in France after having apparently fallen off a cliff. After his death it was discovered that his marriage to Isabel Maxwell was never legitimate, as Seckel had still been legally married to a previous wife. In the last years of his life Seckel was reported as having been trying to sell the personal papers of his late father-in-law Robert Maxwell.
With Epstein apparently dead (typically, under mysterious circumstances) and Ghislaine Maxwell arrested, one might be tempted to feel a sense of closure regarding their crimes. The truth, as outlined here, is far more complicated. In all likelihood, the activities of the youngest Maxwell and her notorious associate were actually just a small branch of a much larger story, one with deep roots in the history of post-WWII academia, society, international espionage, and perhaps even the occult. It is difficult to draw conclusions from such disparate facts, and it is unlikely that the questions which arise can be easily answered. At a bare minimum, it seems fair to suggest that there is far more to the story of Robert Maxwell and his extended family than meets the eye.
submitted by evil_pope to Epstein [link] [comments]

Beyond Ghislaine: The Maxwell Octopus

Robert Maxwell (born Ján Ludvík Hyman Binyamin Hoch) was born into a poor yiddish-speaking Jewish community in Czechoslovakia in 1923. When Nazi Germany invaded Czechoslovakia during the Second World War, Maxwell fled to France as part of an underground organization ferrying youth out of his homeland. Still a teenager, this would be his first taste of the world of spycraft, an occupation which would define the remainder of his inscrutable life. After several years spent engaged in underground resistance activities which saw him shuttled across Eastern Europe and the Middle East he eventually found himself back in France, now a member of the French Foreign Legion and an active participant in the French Resistance, utilizing the newly acquired pseudonym of Ivan du Maurier.
After participating in the Allied invasion of Normandy, Maxwell (soon to adopt the name of Leslie Johnson) was shortly recruited by British Intelligence. Already a seasoned veteran of international espionage, the young man's multilingualism and underground connections made him a valuable asset to the British government. He continued to work for Britain in the years leading up to the end of the war and in its immediate aftermath, ostensibly as a press attache to the foreign office in Berlin. His actual assignment was the interrogation of captured German scientists, work likely done in conjunction with the Alsos Mission, a branch of the American Manhattan Project which cooperated with British forces to collect and classify information on Germany's atomic weapons program. Though the goal of Alsos was primarily to prevent sensitive information from falling into Soviet hands, Maxwell soon also became affiliated with Soviet intelligence due to his desire to seek out surviving relatives who still resided in his homeland, now under Soviet jurisdiction.
He changed his name for the last time in 1945, and as the newly-christened Captain Robert Maxwell married Elisabeth Meynard, a native of France and the future mother of all nine of his children. Still working for allied intelligence, Maxwell began to anticipate the value his work could have on the private market. He started to gather German and Russian scientific documents and research papers which were unknown in the English-speaking world, with the intention of later selling or publishing them for profit.
Meanwhile, in America, a young scientist and child of Czech immigrants by the name of Frank Malina was establishing an international reputation for himself in the field of rocketry and aeronautics. As a graduate student at Caltech, Malina and his longtime friend Jack Parsons founded the research center that would later become the Jet Propulsion Lab. Parsons, himself a brilliant young rocket scientist, was also an avid follower of notorious British occultist Aleister Crowley. Parsons' involvement with Crowley's Thelema movement was so deep that he would eventually become the leader of the California branch of the Ordo Templi Orientis, a Thelemite initiatory organization whose practices included ritualistic sex magic and the summoning of supernatural beings. Thelemites shunned traditional religion and morality in favor of a belief in the supreme power of the will, an echo of Hitler's Nazi philosophy which was itself rooted in the same spiritualist and theosophist ideas as Crowley's. The supreme goal of Thelema, as with all occult practices, is the ultimate union of mind and matter, the combination of the disciplines of science, art, philosophy and religion into a single comprehensible whole. While continuing to work closely with Malina at this time, Parsons also became closely affiliated with Scientology founder and fellow occultist L. Ron Hubbard.
Malina and Parsons went on to form the Aerojet Corporation, a rocket and missile manufacturer from which Parsons was ousted in 1944. In early 1945, Aerojet was purchased by General Tire, a company whose business included contracts with the U.S. military during the second World War. Later in 1945, Malina's research facility was moved to the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico where the first Atomic Bomb was detonated that same year.
Leaving the British Army in 1947, Robert Maxwell utilized his military and intelligence connections to go into business as the British and US distributor for Springer Verlag, a Berlin-based publisher of scientific texts which had been taken over by Allied forces after the war. Maxwell soon purchased a majority share of the company, which he re-dubbed Pergamon Press, a reference to the ancient Greek city and center of pagan worship of the same name. During this time, Maxwell also became heavily involved with the newly-designated Israeli intelligence service Mossad, a connection which would arguably remain his primary allegiance throughout the remainder of his life.
In 1947 Frank Malina left rocketry and his native country behind to move to France, ostensibly because he had grown disenchanted with the military applications of his research, although at this time he was also being investigated by the FBI for his undisclosed involvement with American communist organizations in his youth (an ideology Parsons had also toyed with before moving onto more esoteric concerns). Malina took a job in Paris as Secretariat of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), where he worked under famed English eugenicist Julian Huxley, the father of mysticist author Aldous Huxley.
Back in America, Parsons was also increasingly hounded by the FBI. He devised a plan to flee to Israel after he was offered a job working for the infant Israeli rocket program, but a suspicious transfer of documents led to allegations of espionage from the FBI (later dismissed in court). Parsons remained in America until his 1952 death in a mysterious laboratory explosion, the cause of which would never be sufficiently explained.
After his stint with UNESCO, Malina left the organization to pursue his interest in art. In 1968, while still living in Paris, he founded 'Leonardo', an academic journal published by MIT Press which covered the application of science to the arts. The journal remained his primary concern until his death from natural causes in 1981, at which point control of Leonardo turned over to his son Roger Malina.
Maxwell, meanwhile, was busy building his publishing and media empire, amassing a variety of subsidiaries including newspapers, television networks and tech companies. He spent six years as a Member of British Parliament in the 1960s before being defeated in the election of 1970. Though nominally a British citizen, all of his children were born in the wealthy suburbs of Paris, their mother's native land. As his wealth and influence rose, Maxwell remained deeply entangled with MI6, the KGB, the CIA and Mossad.
In the 1970s Maxwell became involved in an intelligence operation centered around PROMIS, a database management software program that could be described as a forerunner to modern internet search engines. PROMIS was groundbreaking in its time, allowing the user to aggregate disparate databases into a single accessible interface. Though initially designed to help prosecutor's offices track and share data, the program quickly caught the attention of intelligence agencies who foresaw its potential for monitoring and compiling information in a variety of fields. In a sense, their plan could be viewed as a nascent version of the information gathering activities which would be exposed by Edward Snowden decades later.
The U.S. Department of Justice hired two men with connections to the Isreali defense forces to infiltrate Inslaw, the company which had produced PROMIS, under the pretense of being potential buyers for the Isreali Public Prosecutor's office. In reality, the men were sent to steal PROMIS and bring it back to their clients in U.S. and Israeli intelligence without Inslaw's knowledge. Their mission accomplished, the thieves soon devised bigger plans for the software than its application to their own systems. They hatched a scheme to sell the software to foreign intelligence agencies with covert back doors, thus obtaining a worldwide database of the intelligence activities of all the major powers in the world. In order to enact this plan they needed a middle-man with deep connections in the global intelligence community, someone who would be trusted as a known quantity by all. Naturally, they turned to Robert Maxwell.
Maxwell used his corporate empire (he had quietly purchased several fledgling Israeli tech companies which served as fronts for the sales) to broker deals with China, the KGB, and anyone else who would be interested in the ground-breaking software. Before long he even began to double-cross his own handlers, helping create new backdoors for China and Israel so that they in turn could spy on the Americans. The software began to find its way into banking systems and government databases worldwide, growing into a vast interconnected network which came to be dubbed "The Octopus". At the head of this Octopus was not any particular state government or intelligence agency, but Robert Maxwell himself, the only man who had been able to game the technology to his own advantage without being taken advantage of in turn.
When Inslaw discovered how their technology was being used they filed a series of lawsuits against the DOJ alleging that PROMIS was illegally stolen from their company. Without these lawsuits, it is unlikely that any of the information regarding PROMIS would have ever come to light. The lawsuits were predictably ruled in favor of the US Government, bankrupting Inslaw in the process. Danny Casolaro, a journalist who was covering the story (the man who coined the term 'The Octopus') was found dead in a hotel room in 1991, his wrists slashed several times in an apparent suicide. Casolaro had complained of threatening phone calls in the days leading up to his death, and his family have long asserted that he was murdered.
Eventually, Maxwell's double-dealing caught up with him. At the behest of China's Secret Service he sold a compromised version of PROMIS to Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, birthplace of the American atomic bomb. This modified version of PROMIS installed at the Los Alamos facility was designed to give Chinese Intelligence access to America's nuclear secrets. The affair became the subject of several FBI investigations regarding Maxwell's conduct, documents regarding which have never been made publicly available except in a prohibitively redacted form. Western intelligence agencies, Israel in particular, were incensed at Maxwell's dealings with China, which they saw as a betrayal of his allegiance. For the first time, serious discussion of Maxwell as a potential liability began to take place.
In 1991, while travelling aboard his yacht 'The Lady Ghislaine' (named after his youngest and favorite daughter) Maxwell fell overboard into the Atlantic ocean. His body was recovered the next morning and the cause of his death was officially ruled as a heart attack which led to an accidental drowning. Rumors of his murder continue to persist to this day, occasionally spurred on by daughter Ghislaine herself. Robert Maxwell was buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, at a funeral attended by several Israeli government officials and known intelligence operatives.
In the aftermath of his death, Maxwell's empire fell apart. Financial improprieties were discovered and the Maxwell companies were soon bankrupt. The stage was set for a new generation of Maxwells to assume his position.
Twin sisters Isabel and Christine Maxwell moved to Silicon Valley in the 1980s, and despite having no apparent formal training in technology, founded the early internet search engine and e-mail provider Magellan. After selling this company, Christine would go on to form Chiliad, a data analysis company with its headquarters in the Washington D.C. suburb of Herndon, VA. An announcement on the appointment of Christine as the company's interim CEO in 2013 boasts:
"The company’s Discovery/Alert big data search tool – operationally proven by the US law enforcement community – reaches across information stored in incompatible databases, documents and applications held in separate departments and organizations to provide the proactive, real-time situational awareness necessary for protection and preparedness."
-A perfectly accurate description of the PROMIS software co-opted by her father a few decades earlier. A 2008 article in Business Wire quotes Chiliad CEO Dan Ferranti as saying "In just a few years, Chiliad will be known as principal arms supplier to the information age."
In 1986 Christine married Roger Malina, the MIT-educated son of Frank Malina, and current editor of his father's 'Leonardo' journal. While it is unclear where and when the couple first met, it would seem that there was no shortage of opportunities for the two to cross paths considering their long shared family histories of involvement in Parisian society, technology, government service, and science publishing.
After two failed early marriages, Christine's twin sister Isabel would herself find love with a man named Al Seckel. Seckel was an avid atheist activist and collector of optical illusions, a self-styled intellectual whose academic credentials were overstated at best and non-existent at worst. The source of Seckel's finances were never entirely clear. He described himself as a dealer of rare books, but those who dealt with him in this capacity described him as a con artist and swindler. Seckel ingratiated himself with the academic society around Caltech and was well known for the lavish parties he threw, often packed with celebrities of academia and entertainment. His primary academic concern seemed to be the field of cognitive psychology, specifically the psychology of perception. It was a subject which surely overlapped with the interests of his brother-in-law, editor of the 'Leonardo' Roger Malina.
Many of Seckel and Malina's interests would also be shared by the longtime companion of their wives' younger sister Ghislaine, the namesake of the boat from which their father fell to his death. This man, Jeffrey Epstein, is likely already well-known to the reader. Ghislaine allegedly met Epstein in the early 1990s, a time when she was still heavily involved in her father's business dealings. Suffice it to say that Epstein would seem to fit right in with the Maxwell archetype- a shady cosmopolite of mysterious origins with unaccountable finances, questionable morality and deep ties to the worlds of scientific academia (especially at Caltech and MIT), technology, finance, French society, and, perhaps most importantly, international intelligence- specifically as related to the state of Israel. In 2010, two years after Epstein's conviction on charges of soliciting a child for prostitution, Al Seckel hosted a "private scientific conference" on Epstein's island which was attended by numerous superstars of scientific academia. As a side note, Epstein's island is known to contain a mysterious temple, the design of which makes use of optical illusions, labyrinthine motifs, a statue of Poseidon and twin golden owls, figures associated with occult and pagan symbolism. The purpose of the temple has never been fully explained.
Al Seckel would eventually be found dead in 2015 near his home in France after having apparently fallen off a cliff. After his death it was discovered that his marriage to Isabel Maxwell was never legitimate, as Seckel had still been legally married to a previous wife. In the last years of his life Seckel was reported as attempting to sell the personal papers of his late father-in-law Robert Maxwell.
With Epstein apparently dead (under typically mysterious circumstances) and Ghislaine Maxwell arrested, one might be tempted to feel a sense of closure regarding their crimes. The truth, as outlined here, is far more complicated. In all likelihood, the activities of the youngest Maxwell and her notorious associate were actually just a small branch of a much larger story, one with deep roots in the history of post-WWII academia, society, international espionage, and perhaps even the occult. It is difficult to draw conclusions from such disparate facts, and it is unlikely that the questions which arise can be easily answered. At a bare minimum, it seems fair to suggest that there is far more to the story of Robert Maxwell and his extended family than meets the eye.
submitted by evil_pope to conspiracy [link] [comments]

How to Make Money with Instagram: The Ultimate Guide [2020 Update]

Making money with Instagram is no joke. On the contrary, BusinessInsider shows that popular Instagram influencers can already charge a minimum of € 15,000 for a single sponsored post on their accounts!
So what does it come down to?
When it comes to making money with social media and how much money you will really make, your results will depend on your experience, how many followers you have, and your confidence.
Of course everyone starts from a different starting point or situation, but here are the 4 main ways that we recommend to make money via Instagram.
What you can do:
You can use one, several or even all 4 of these methods simultaneously to make money via Instagram - it's your choice!
Now that that's said, are you ready to go ?
Following are the details of each method of how to make money with Instagram

How to Make Money on Instagram - The 4 Methods


1 Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways of making money on Instagram.
Simply put, affiliate marketing is when you get a commission when someone clicks on a link from another company from your account, and then buys a product. You usually get a commission when someone buys something, but sometimes when they just click on the link.
Affiliate marketing is so simple because all you have to do is show the product with a “story” around it, for example in a review, a video or a post with a little paragraph about the product, then put it in link your Instagram bio to. You can also have your own website where you send people to learn more about the products you show.
Keep in mind that when you recommend something, your good name and reputation are associated with the product, so only recommend products that you have used yourself, that you trust and like.
Affiliate marketing is an extensive topic, and we have written about it many times. You can dig deeper into it in our article: the Guide to Affiliate Marketing .
You can also visit the following websites that have affiliate lists of products that offer affiliate programs, which will take you one step further in learning how to make money with Instagram

2 Sell ​​your photos

You spend a lot of time and effort to get the scene, light and captions just right… so why not convert all the effort you've already put into your IG account into more money ?
There are many sites online where you can host and sell your photos.

3 Sponsored Posts

Sponsored posts are another way of making money with Instagram, and it is expected that by 2020 there will be around 32.3 billion sponsored Instagram posts to be paid by brands.
You can also participate and get paid like this !
What exactly are sponsored posts? First you grow your number of followers, by supporting a certain message or by specializing in things like health, things that men / women need (think of cars, beauty, etc.), cats, or whatever your thing . If a sponsor likes what you do, they will ask you to promote them!
Not only do they pay for you talking about them, but they usually combine it with an affiliate link, so you get a commission when one of your visitors buys something from the sponsor!
Some people think that sponsoring and making money is about having millions of followers, but that's not true . Sponsors are not stupid, they know you can just buy "fake followers" to make the number look better.
What they're looking for is the real, engaged followers who trust you. A sponsor would rather have 1,000 people ready to buy what the influencer recommends than 2 million accounts that actually mean nothing.
It's all about trust and commitment .

How Much Can You Ask?

Now you're probably wondering how much money to charge per sponsored post.
Unless you're extremely experienced with Instagram and a big influencer, it's likely to be determined by the company itself. It can depend on whether you post a photo, video or story and how long the video is when it is a video or a story.
Good news is that when we look at the rates on AdFactor of some influencers, and the number of Instagram followers they have, it looks like you can already ask € 500 per sponsored post with just a few thousand followers.
That can give you an idea of ​​how many brands are willing to pay, and what number you can play with during the negotiations.

How To Find Sponsors

The easiest way to find sponsors is to compile a list of companies and brands you like, and write them an email describing who you are, why you like them, and how you can help them when you promote them on Instagram.
Here are a few examples of emails you can view and use.
Another way is to list yourself and your account on an influencer marketplace, where brands “shop around” to find the accounts they would like to sponsor or contact.

How to avoid being called a defector (or why you shouldn't have too many sponsored posts)

It can be tempting to turn every post into a sponsored post, but there has to be a balance. Remember, your audience originally followed you for the sheer content of your posts and because they liked YOU, not because they want to see ads all the time.
We recommend that you consider using a #sponsored or #spon hashtag to indicate that it is a sponsored post . If you're worried about using sponsored posts at all, we've got some good news for you!
For example below, you can see that beauty blogger and Instagrammer Mascha Feoktistova indicates that her latest fragrance from Guess is sponsored using the hashtag #spon.
Instagram now also has a "Paid Partnership With ..." tag that clearly identifies sponsored posts. Some brands even require that you use this as an influencer. You can here read about the tag.
When you're trying to find a balance in how you make money on Instagram, fewer sponsored posts are better than more. Try a certain number first (eg 1 per week), and you could even create a live survey with your “Story” feature to ask your audience if they are satisfied with the number of sponsored posts, and if they like the recommendations .
Always try to be as careful as possible with sponsored posts, and keep in mind: LESS is more!

4 Make your own products

Making your own products is a great way to turn your Instagram account into a money machine. And it can also be a lot of fun!

Paid Services

Most Instagrammers start with paid services because they are the easiest to set up. You basically choose the talents you have, and you work as a freelance consultant for someone, while setting your own rates for your talents! If you'd like to learn more about that, check out our guide on how to start freelancing .

Digital Products

Another good example, besides paid services, is that you create something like an e-book about your favorite topic and sell it on your website through an online shop program.
Online products are one of our favorites, because once you have set up your website and your online shop program, the “shop” is always open, and you can get paid for your knowledge while you sleep!
The return on your investment can be HUGE!
If you want to research how to make money with Instagram, we recommend that you sign up on SendOwl for your online shop program and use it to sell your online products.

Physical Products

You can then develop further by delving into physical products with services such as Shopify , which help you to set up a real online shop.
Physical products can be challenging because you have to make sure the quality is good enough as they are made from factories. Services like Printful and Teelaunch can do all the work for you when printing certain photos in shirts and mugs, as well as finding recommended factories.
If you follow this route, we recommend that you always see a sample of the products before selling it to your audience. You can't make money by putting your name on poor quality products!
Reference:
Entreprenuers Hustle Free Style
submitted by yatesmaron to Howwemakemoneyonline [link] [comments]

Thoughts on our education system.

One of our founding fathers, Mr Lee Kuan Yew said in his 1983 National Day Rally speech: “If you don’t include your women graduates in your breeding pool and leave them on the shelf, you would end up a more stupid society ... So what happens? There will be less bright people to support dumb people in the next generation. That’s a problem."
In the 80s, we were experiencing waning economic growth and low fertility rates. Women were increasingly highly educated, and transcended the role of a homemaker. Now, the role of a woman also included being a member of the labour force. In this same time, Lee Kuan Yew observed a trend that highly educated women were less likely to marry and have children, as such he felt that male university graduates preferred to marry less highly educated wives.
In the years to come, the government announced a set of new policies aimed at grooming a smarter next generation, here are some examples:
  1. The Graduate Mothers scheme, introduced in 1984, incentivized graduate mothers to have children by ensuring that their third child would be admitted into the best schools and enhanced tax relief for educated women with 5 'O' level passes.
  2. The Social Development Unit, introduced in 1984, this helped to match graduates together, through matchmaking sessions such as cruise holidays.
  3. The Small Family Incentive Scheme, introduced in 1993, this incentivized less-educated, poorer parents to limit family sizes by awarding $10,000 for less-educated women to undergo sterilization after two children, and through steep delivery fees for their third child.
Although this sparked furious debates both inside and outside of parliament, famously known as the "Great Marriage Debate", Mr Lee continued to hold on to his view that humans were gifted unequally by nature. Now, many of these population planning policies have been scrapped. However, his belief in eugenics has also cast a long shadow on our education policies, which to this day continue to have an impact on students.
He wrote in his book, Hard Truths To Keep Singapore Going: "I tell people frankly God has made you that way ... I can give you extra tuition, better environment, but the incremental benefits are not that much. And their peers with bigger engines will also make progress. So the gap will never be closed." In another book, Lee Kuan Yew: The Crucial Years, he expresses his admiration of the British elite public school system (public as in only a wealthy members of the public), which nurtures and develops top-tier civil servants by having their students go through great universities infused with the ideal British qualities (pg 349-353). It is also acknowledged in the highly critical Ross Worthington's Governance In Singapore, that Lee Kuan Yew may have believed that there was a need to have a separation between elite, high-educated civil servants and ordinary folks on the ground (opening chapters).
Although in the recent years, there has been some reform in our education system, some antiquated policies still remain:
  1. EM streaming in primary schools (scrapped, but was alive in my time). This categorized students into different streams in primary school, EM1 with the strongest students, and EM3 for the weakest. Isn't streaming at a primary school level far too young? Also consider the difficulty to jump from EM3 to EM1.
  2. GEP (Gifted Education Programme). This tests students in lower primary school levels for their academic potential. Though it may be true that students show their potential for excellence when very young, richer parents are able to tutor their child to reach their potential earlier and benefit from this program.
  3. Phase 2A primary school admission. This ensures that children of alumni get priority admission. This lets children from already (most of the time) well-resourced families to enter elite schools. Which makes the playing field unfair through association.
  4. The Integrated Programme/Affiliated school scheme. I am sure we are all familiar with this one. It does not make sense for students to be given an advantage based on their past school (especially at a primary school level). Although cohort sizes limit the intake of these IP or affiliated students, why does such a scheme exist in the first place? Students from the bottom, in streams such as Normal Technical and Normal Academic, have to struggle and put in a disproportionate amount of effort to climb. Consider that IP students take 6 years to study for 'A' levels at a mostly linear rate, while a Normal Academic student will take 'NA' levels in his 4th year, and face a tremendous jump in difficulty to 'O' levels in his 5th year, and then face another tremendous jump in difficulty to 'A' levels in his 7th year.
  5. The difference in standards between elite and neighbourhood secondary and primary schools. Why does a child at such a young age have to grapple with poorer resources in neighbourhood schools? For example, neighbourhood schools sometimes have to settle for class sizes of up to 40-45 students, why is that?
  6. Priority primary school admission for those living within 1km from the school. How many people, though, can afford to stay within 1km of prestigious schools in Bukit Timah? And why are many of the best schools clustered around that area?
Recently, our current education minister Mr Ong Ye Kung has unveiled sweeping reforms to the system. The reforms look to increase the emphasis on one's individual merit through an overhaul of the banding system and the removal of labeling. I feel this is a step in the right direction, but I feel key issues are being missed out. Namely, why the reluctance to abolish the IP or affiliated school scheme? Instead, in 2017 it was announced that multiple non-affiliated, non-IP JCs will get merged while a new JC will be built for IP students. It looks like we are taking one step forward, and two steps back.
You may argue that its the kiasu parents that make it such that the distinction between an elite and neighbourhood school exist. However, when our education system so clearly seems to benefit those more fortunate, it becomes clear that the "kiasu" attitude stems from the fear of their child falling victim to these policies. After all, which parent wouldn't want the best for their child?
In the GE2020 debates, Dr Vivian emphasized that every school is a good school, and that he feels we can be proud of our education system. Yes, true, I am proud of our education system. We do have one of the best education systems in the world, Raffles Institution (which any student can enter if they score well enough) is one of the top feeder schools for Ivy League universities, and students that don't do so well are given alternative paths that eventually could lead to a degree... However, how do we reconcile this "every school is a good school" statement with these policies and decision-making?
The crux of this argument is why is there such a reluctance to shift away from the eugenics-based policies of the past when we can instead shift towards an education system that seeks justice and equity for each individual student. We already have a great system, why not tweak it so that more of our bright, young generation can take advantage of it?
Some may argue that removing the schemes that use association/affiliation (IP, affiliated schools, and Phase 2 admissions) may "cap the top". Then we may want to explore why putting these top students through the usual education pathway (through Os and As) puts them at a disadvantage. If the top students require a specially paved path to show their full potential, maybe that says something about the condition of the conventional path most of us take.
https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/did-mr-lee-kuan-yew-create-a-singapore-in-his-own-image
https://www.todayonline.com/rememberinglky/policies-bedroom-and-beyond
https://www.womensaction.sg/article/reproductive
https://web.archive.org/web/20110727182245/http://www.populationasia.org/Publications/RP/AMCRP12.pdf
Excerpt from Lee Kuan Yew: The Man and His Ideas, "The Secrets of a Good Government".
Excerpt from Lee Kuan Yew: The Crucial Years, page 350.
Excerpt from Governance in Singapore by Ross Worthington, opening chapters (can't find the book online).
Disclaimer: not all resources, quotations, assumptions may be accurate. If this is not allowed, feel free to take this post down.
submitted by Brians89 to singapore [link] [comments]

Level 1 certification and the utter lack of quality control within Crossfit is shameful.

So I've got my L1. Two day course in the UK, enjoyable, didn't feel I learned a huge amount (I'd been doing CF for years by that point) and also most everything they teach you there is already available online for free. I suppose learning about how to program for boxes was interesting to me.
Anyway, 2 days (with very easy test on day 2 - no-one failed from 20+ attendees), got my certificate in the mail couple weeks later...
... I was then qualified to coach CF at an affiliate.
I've travelled all round the world for years with my work, and I always make a point of visiting CF gyms wherever I go. I've been to CF affiliates on almost every continent and in some far flung countries (I'd say I've been to over 100 foreign boxes), and I'd say in the VAST majority of gyms I go to (I'll normally be in the one place for a week, so I'll take a bunch of classes) there is a coach that I personally witness who is 100% putting people's health in danger during his/her classes. I've been to MULTIPLE classes where I've had to privately suggest a correction to a coach on his movements FFS (obviously NOT taken well), and that doesn't include the demo-ing kipping pull-ups for a coach cos they couldn't do them, or the times I've said to someone in my class, "lady, you need a lower bar; you need a heavier kettlebell; you need to use your legs on the rower" etc.
And that makes sense, right? That someone couldn't coach a class for shit after a 2 day course learning how to "do" the foundational movements (we had 5 hands that went up in our L1 that had NEVER DONE CROSSFIT BEFORE), with a nominal bit of time near the end where you "play coach" with a partner and try to correct their mistakes - a hopeless exercise where everyone had barely any idea what they were doing, and most people were too shy to criticise a stranger's technique... then it was over.
These "graduates" go out into the world, preaching the doctrine of "functional movements performed at high intensity"; guiding and encouraging and pushing their class members as they perform Diane "for time" and with 100kg on the barbell, because the guy in the class has an enormous ego, and the "coach" has barely any fucking idea what he/she is doing, nor has the confidence/experience to tell this guy to get 60kg on the bar because it's not going to work out well and he'll hurt himself.
Well the guy throws his back out BAD and the "coach" looks fucking distraught (true story from France)
..and this is ALL because gaining the qualification takes 2 days (a cynic may say it's also pretty well designed for turning over fast money), is utterly insufficient to be sending people out to watch over potentially hundreds of people as they push themselves to their limits, under a pressure of time or reps, and with heavy weights while performing hard, often dangerous (HSPU, Oly lifting, etc) exercises.
These barely trained coaches, of which there must be thousands operating in boxes all round the world right now, take classes without any chance of ever being assessed or reviewed by the body that granted the qualification. The Michelin guide sends 3 separate fucking mystery diners to EVERY restaurant in its enormous book, every year! Every year! To check the quality of bloody FOOD! They have a fraction of the - as Forbes called it years ago - '3 Billion Dollar brand' and vaults of cash that CF had/has... and they cant even send 1 fucking dude to each country to drop in on the gyms once a fucking year and make sure the coaches there aren't actively hurting clients who, let's not forget, are paying a bloody fortune compared to most other forms of sport/fitness.
I find it shameful with their billions that they hid behind the fact that they just license the methodology and "don't follow a franchise model blah blah".
CrossFit, do fucking better. Take responsibility and spend a FRACTION of the ZILLIONS you make in ensuring that the people you so hastily qualify are fit to teach the methodology which, if taught poorly, can really fuck up someone's life.
submitted by ToleyBumShite to crossfit [link] [comments]

[Star Child] Chapter 36

Navigation: Chapter 1 | Previous Chapter | Chapter Index | Next Chapter || Other Serials: Vestiges of Power | Queen of the Desert Winds || Come hang out on Reddit Serials Discord
Last chapter, Meg received her tentative schedule for the spring semester. Someone tampered with her courses, removing her apprentice credit and adding a divination class.. With Christie busy in emergency meetings, Meg took it upon herself to jump through the bureaucratic hoops to get her schedule the way it should be. When letters from Master Claude and a meeting with lower-level registration officers didn’t fix the issue, Meg took things up a notch, enlisting Beth’s help in spying on Christie and the Masters who had been quietly investigating Meg’s background. While Meg successfully kept Beth concealed, someone noticed that Meg was working the required magic...
I jumped in my seat, unsure how to respond.
"You can relax," they said.
I turned around to try to face the source of the unfamiliar voice, but didn't see anything. That didn't help my relaxing.
"Try looking a different way," they teased.
I closed my eyes to look for auras. The mostly masked aura was now moving to sit in the empty chair opposite me.
"I'm not supposed to be interacting with you, so don't respond with more than a nod or blink," they said once I had relaxed back into my chair. "You've got skill, and picking astronomy was a smart way to keep it from getting too much attention."
I tilted my head, hoping it got the message across that I wanted elaboration on why they thought keeping my magic under wraps was smart.
"I don't know what you are, but regardless, if the Council finds out about the extent of your illusion ability, they'll see you as nothing more than a tool," the invisible agent said. "Just look at me, following an innocent student."
I wondered if they knew what had put me in this situation. There was no easy way to ask that question through nods and facial expressions, so I just sat and watched the spot where I knew they were sitting.
"I'm not going to interfere in whatever you and your friend were doing, or report it back to the Council, but if you want my advice, learn to keep your aura in check when you use it," my invisible acquaintance said. "If anyone else in the library was looking at your vicinity, they'd definitely see the gold, and then we might both get in trouble."
I nodded. Their advice seemed solid. I wanted to ask them questions. How much they had been told about me? What could I do to mask my aura, the way they were? Did they know that I could still faintly make their aura out? Were they intentionally doing that, or was it just the limit of their abilities with their aura?
“If your friend is able to get the assemblage called, I’ll see you again,” they whispered as they left. I watched the strange masked aura retreat back downstairs so they could resume their Council-ordered duties of monitoring me from a distance. Did that mean they were with l’Ordre as well? Could they teach me more whenever that meeting happened? I assumed I’d be at the meeting. It only made sense when I seemed to be the one making the dominoes fall.
Moments after the campus bells tolled for the end of the day’s lecture-based classes, Beth came by to let me know she was done with her shift. I had scribbled down a few vague notes about the cryptic, one-sided discussion I had had with my watcher, but they were intentionally vague, since I couldn’t be certain who else was or wasn’t watching. I had to bite back the urge to ask Beth what she had learned at the meeting.
As soon as we got back to the house and closed the door, Beth beat me to it. “You were right,” she said as we kicked off our shoes. “Christie was still not thrilled about having done it, but they did modify your schedule. They were all in on it. Masters Igor and Horatio picked that specific class, and made sure he’d be teaching it, so that they could try to divine more about you, but still have it pass under the radar of the folks in registration. Apparently, they have ongoing issues telling the difference between astrology and astronomy, and wanted to exploit that.”
“Wait what?” Hank asked. He had been passing through the foyer to see what was cooking in the kitchen. I could tell the oven was on, but I wasn’t exactly sure what was baking, so I had been making to follow him when he stopped and turned to face Beth and I.
“We’ll fill you in at dinner,” I said. “There wasn’t too much in the documents they had out, but wait ‘till you hear the discussion I had.”
“Discussion?” Beth asked. “With who?”
“Whoever the Council assigned to watch me,” I said. “They’re apparently involved with l’Ordre, somehow. Warned me to be careful about my aura.”
Beth looked me dead in the eye. “What did they say?”
“Nothing immediately useful,” I said. “Somehow they knew I was keeping you invisible from a distance. The rest was just ‘be careful’ and ‘don’t trust the Council’ which is pretty standard at this point.”
"But did they directly mention l'Ordre?" she asked.
"Not by name," I said. "Just a vague mention to that meeting your aunt has been trying to get called. Why?"
"Part of their code," Beth said. "What did they call the meeting?"
I thought back to the strange, one-sided encounter. "It sounded French, but not quite."
"Assemblage?" Beth asked, skewing the syllables so that it sounded closer to assembly, but not quite.
"That was it!" I said.
Beth sighed in relief. "Most of the secret societies know about the others. L'Ordre has developed a unique set of pronunciations as a code for members, and affiliates like us, to know that the person we're taking to isn't an impostor."
Temporarily distracted, I took my books upstairs to leave on my bed for later. I already had a strong feeling that Dave was going to glare disapprovingly at me for risking exposing my aura, and I wanted to hear Beth's full report on the meeting. Homework could wait for later.
Dinner turned out to be parmesan chicken with a basic marinara sauce. Dave and John were fine at cooking, but never wanted to put in much effort, so I was impressed at the double breaded chicken
"Turns out baking is a great way to procrastinate on papers," John said.
"Why do you think I make so many cookies and brownies?" I asked.
"I just thought you liked having a constant supply of them," he said.
We all laughed. This was what life at Bard was supposed to be like. Friends sharing dinner and taking little jabs at each other. But it could only last so long.
I looked at Beth, asking with my eyes if it was time to share our new information. She nodded, so I took a deep breath.
"So some stuff happened at the library this afternoon," I said. Everyone's faces swiveled at me. "Nothing bad, I think."
"Meg made me invisible so I could watch Christie and the other Masters have their meeting," Beth said. "She was right about the schedule issues she's been having. They want to be able to observe her more, to get more data, because they're no closer to the truth than they were when they started this little squad. Master Igor isn't teaching next semester, so they exploited Registration's confusion between astronomy and astrology."
"Well that's just great," Sam said.
"But it's not all," Beth said. I snapped back to attention. This had just been details on what I had suspected and Beth had quickly confirmed in the foyer. "They've been looking at the charter. Because of how old Bard is, there are provisions that limit the enrollment of non-wizards. The exchange programs don't fall under it, since students get credit from their home institutions, but there are heavy penalties for students enrolled under false pretenses and, if they apprentice, their advising Master."
"How heavy?" Hazel asked.
"It depends on the infiltrating mythic," Beth said. "It's actually pretty light for elves, but they made it sound like it could be severe for Meg and Uncle Claude. Banishment from mythic society for the student, and stripping the Master of their title."
"Even with the Council themselves forging my documents, essentially declaring me a wizard for all intents and purposes?" I asked.
"They didn't say," Beth said. "With that, you could be entirely in the clear."
"I can look that up after dinner," Dave said. "I should have a copy of the charter around somewhere."
"Of course you do," Hank said, diffusing the tension for a moment.
"On top of that, I had a pretty one-sided discussion with the person the Council assigned to follow me," I said.
If my friends had been surprised earlier, they were completely stunned now.
"Somehow, they knew what I was doing, keeping Beth invisible," I said. "So they gave me a friendly warning that if others happened to be looking at auras, my golden one would have been a beacon. They're not going to tell the Council what I was up to though, so that's a plus."
"It was still incredibly risky," Dave said.
"What was I supposed to do?" I asked. "Let my academic career get roadblocked by meddlesome Masters who seem to care a little too much about the prestige of the college?"
That at least made Dave pause to think. I was in a tough situation. The wizard council wanted to keep me under their thumb. The Celestial Council was keeping me at arm’s length because they didn’t want the wizard Council finding out about them, so I had no clue if they had their own educational structures, or if they piggybacked off of other mythics. They had made it seem like elven Star Children were just elves with extra abilities, so between that and Master Iridius, it seemed like the piggyback theory was a likely candidate.
“So did they say anything else?” Sam asked.
“Besides remarking that astronomy was a smart choice for hiding my abilities, so the Council wouldn’t try to exploit me like they exploited them, not really,” I said. “Which, not something I was thinking about at the time, but still a good point.”
“Don’t count on them admitting to being the agent watching you if the assemblage is called,” Beth said. “I have a few ideas on who it might be, but likely they won’t want to reveal themselves while they’re still assigned to watch you.”
I had been hoping they’d be able to teach me more about using or hiding my aura. Like whatever technique Master Iridius had used to nearly mask his own aura during my trial, making it look to Mark’s parents and lawyer that he was a wizard.
The combination of news made for a quiet clean up from dinner while everyone was processing the new information. I was processing Beth’s news about the Bard College charter. Beth was processing all the details on whoever it was that had talked to me, probably trying to figure out who they were. And the others were processing, well, everything. As far as any of us could tell, there wasn’t much to do besides what I had already done to try to get my schedule fixed, and the rest led to business as usual. That didn’t mean that we liked it, but it was where we were at.
There was a knock at the door. Since I was done washing the dishes, and was just helping dry things, I put my towel down and went to answer it.
“Christie?” I asked, confused what she was doing here, and especially now that it was well after dinner.
“I just got back to my office after my emergency meetings,” she said. “Alan left some papers on my desk, and I’m so sorry about the difficulties you’ve been having.” She looked around, like she was expecting to see someone watching her. “Is it safe here?”
I made a snap decision to play dumb, to pretend that I had no clue what she was talking about.
“My friends who live here are still cleaning up dishes,” I said. “But I assume you’re referring to outside listeners, and not them.” I stepped away from the door to let her in.
“This might take a bit of time to explain,” Christie said. “Is there somewhere to sit?”
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Hank skitter back to the kitchen, probably to tell everyone else what was going on.
“Probably at the big table,” I said. Old habits from when my parents had guests kicked in. “Should we make some tea?”
“We might need it,” Christie said.
I heard the faucet turn on as I led Christie down the hallway. Once we were all seated with our tea, she began her story.
“I need to give you the context this takes place in first,” she said. “I’ve already mentioned that I never completed my apprenticeship. For a time, that was the right path for me, but I didn’t do my homework. There were rules that prevented me from reapplying to complete an apprenticeship once I was too far into my leave of absence from my education, meaning I would never become a Master.”
I nodded. None of this was breaking news.
“There was a boy,” she said. “A mundane boy. He knew there was something different about my family, but didn’t know what it was. We were in love, but my parents wouldn’t dream of their only daughter marrying a mundane. So I was forcibly sent to Bard. Back in those days, parents were able to set more restrictions on their children, and Security enforced a curfew.”
“I’m glad those aren’t the rules anymore,” John said. We all laughed, remembering how he had become completely nocturnal last summer after testing Hank’s magically enhanced caffeine.
“The administration took a while, but they have caught up with considering the students adults,” Christie said. “Anyways, my parents weren’t able to cut off my mail, so Jason and I continued to send letters back and forth. Eventually, he had enough saved up for a house, a car, and a ring. I lied to my parents about having an apprenticeship that required me to travel as soon as the semester ended, and Jason and I were married by the end of the summer.”
“Awww,” Beth said quietly. I could have sworn I saw her glance over at John.
“My parents disowned me, naturally,” Christie said. She was so blase about the fact, it was startling. “But we were happy. Our children were mundane, so I never had to deal with explaining magic to Jason and breaking secrecy. I practiced Seeing in secret, usually while Jason was at work and the children were at school. I knew our life wasn’t going to last forever, and that I would eventually have to return to mythic society and find some menial job, but it ended sooner than I wanted it to. Jason had cancer, and in those days, a cancer diagnosis was usually a death sentence. That was the point when I started working part time at Bard, under the guise of wanting something to do while the house was empty, now that there was less cleaning with the kids moved out. I had hoped that if I worked my way into the system, I would be able to find a way to complete an apprenticeship. It didn’t quite work out that way, but being a Director has similar benefits, so working my way to my current position has paid off.”
“But a new offer came up?” Dave asked. That was always how these things went, and he knew it.
Christie hung her head. “When the semester started, Master Igor started to assemble a coalition of individuals with a certain skill set and regard for the rules. I resisted at first, because of confidentiality reasons, but eventually he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. He claimed that if we uncovered some sort of wrongdoing on the part of the college, that he would find a way to get me a title.”
“That’s impossible,” Dave scoffed.
“That’s what I said, but Master Igor said that he would be able to do it,” Christie said.
“And you believed him?” I asked.
Of course she did. That’s why she had been working with them.
“It was a lapse in judgement,” Christie said. “At first, I was just as curious about your story as they were. But it’s gone too far with the schedule games they’ve been playing.”
I started to open my mouth, but Christie kept going.
“At first, I had suggested that I could try to talk you into taking one of your astrology electives next semester,” Christie said. “Master Igor could arrange the department schedule so that he would be teaching your section. But it escalated from there, and I was in too deep to back out, which is how your schedule became so different from what you requested. I’m so sorry to have put you through all this trouble.”
“Is there anything that can be done to fix it before my meeting?” I asked. "Or at the meeting. But before it's finalized?"
"I can try," Christie said. "It's the last I can do for the trouble this could cause for completing your courses before the Orphan Assistance funding ends."
"Wait, do you mean the funds paying for Meg's courses, or your whole office?" Sam asked.
"How do you know about that?" Christie asked.
"My apprenticeship Master mentioned there were some budget politics going on, and that a lot of departments weren't happy," Sam said.
"It's both," Christie said. "Orphans are only allocated a certain number of courses before they need to find way to pay on their own, usually a paid apprenticeship. But yes, the Office for Orphan Assistance is one of the offices slated for reorganization, since it serves so few students."
"And under the reorganization, you'd lose Director status, wouldn't you?" John asked, piecing things together. That was why Christie needed to find a way to get that Master title in front of her name.
"So you understand why I did what I did?" Christie asked. "I never intended for it to get this far."
"But it still did," I said. "I understand though. You were put in an impossible place by ridiculous rules."
I hadn't made up my mind on what to do. I didn't fully trust Christie. I wasn't about to go tell her that I wasn't a wizard. But she did come here to try to make amends, which she didn't have to do. Without our spying, it was still possible for this to be a genuine clerical error, and certainly not one I'd hold against Christie.
"I'll see what I can do to get your schedule fixed," Christie said. "I think I can make a few calls to give it priority, so it'll be fixed in a few days."
Christie stood to leave, rounding the table to put her mug in the sink.
"I haven't been here that long," she said. "How on earth is the sun already coming up?"
We all turned. The predawn light was filtering through the trees out back.
"It's just a thing the yard does," Sam hastily lied. "Keeps it usable in the winter."
Meanwhile, Hank slipped out of the room. I didn't know what he was doing, but Sam's tone alone made it clear: stall her until someone could figure something out.
"Interesting," Christie said. I could tell she didn't believe it.
Hazel's aura came to life, invisible to the naked eye, but I could feel mine react ever so slightly.
Christie yawned. "Well, it's been a long day, I really should be getting home."
A dart sprouted from her neck and she froze.
"Didn't think that would be useful," Hank said.
"What did you do?" Dave asked.
"Bought us a few minutes," Hank said. "It's definitely morning, and we need to find a way to make her think it's still night, and that nothing weird happened here."
"Well you're the Alchemist, isn't that the sort of thing potions are for?" Jack asked.
"I could find a cocktail that would work," Hank said. "But it would be dangerous. The more we can do without them, the more effective the ones we deliver will be."
"Can you take her back in time?" Jack asked Sam.
"Not without causing problems," Sam said. "Because we need her back in time here so that she walks home, and remembers walking home. A portal to last night at her home would be easy. But avoiding crossing ourselves? That's nigh impossible."
"I could probably keep an illusion around her so it looks like night," I said. “Let her start walking home thinking it’s night, and then the portal back through time. Or would the portal be obvious?”
"For the few hours back we'd need, the portal through time would be instantaneous," Sam said. "We could get her far enough away that crossing timelines isn't a concern, then send her back to yesterday evening, and nobody would be any the wiser."
"And the last few moments will already be muddled by the Petrifying Potion," Hank said.
"As long as the house isn't being watched by one of the others in Christie's league, it does seem like a very clean way to cover things up," Dave said. I could tell he was nervous about the fact that we were dealing with a Director, but there wasn’t much else we could do without the truth coming out.
So we sprung into action. I started creating shadows and the starry sky, careful that my illusion wouldn't be noticeable to those outside of it. Hank went to get the specific antidote to the Petrifying Potion. Dave and Sam debated exactly when to send Christie back to.
I was amazed that our plan worked so well. It was almost too good to be true that we got Christie back home without incident. Sam hopped back in time to watch the rest of her walk home, to make sure that she didn't stop or talk to anyone. And then it was time to start getting ready for class.
"This is going to be a long day," I said to Hazel as I washed my face. I hoped that keeping my hair pulled back would hide the fact that I hadn't washed it.
Next Chapter
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Tip to Differentiate Yourself: Don't Underestimate the Importance of the GRE

Hi Everyone,
Relatively new grad PA-C with a passion for education looking to turn around and give a hand to the next generation coming up behind me. I also was privileged to be rejected to PA school my first go around and get in the second year.
During my interview with the program director, he explicitly commented on my GRE scores. I don't remember my exact scores, but I was >95 percentile for Verbal and >75 percentile for math. Otherwise I had a very generic 3.4 sci GPA and a 3.5 cumulative, with Orgo taken twice and about the average of just over 2200 direct PCE hours as an ER Tech. I don't have a source (it could have been program specific in house research), but he told me he was impressed and that, "There is a direct correlation between GRE score and PANCE score." For those of you who do not know, PA programs care a lot about their first time PANCE pass rate. That was one of my major differentiating factors to earn a spot.
To study for the GRE, I used the Manhattan Prep book series (not the 5lbs book of practice problems, but the actual instruction books which have practice problems in them), and at least when I used them, they came with 6 online practice exams. They're written specifically for people who want to score high percentile, compared to Kaplan or others which are more generic. I went from scoring baseline 40s percentile in both verbal and math on my first pre-study practice exam, to the results above. I studied about 2-5 hours a day most days of the week for 6-10 weeks. During this time I also worked through 1000 vocab flashcards and did the 2 practice exams from the ETS book CD-Rom. *Disclosure: I do not have any affiliation with any GRE prep company, this is just a personal anecdote.
So my advice for someone looking to stand out is don't neglect the GRE. My initial attitude was just to try to get in the 50th percentile to be good enough. I got lucky and did well and learned after the fact just how important it was for me and how important it could be for you. The GRE is an area that is relatively cheap to improve in terms of time and monetary cost.
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/r/Scams Common Scam Master Post

Hello visitors and subscribers of scams! Here you will find a master list of common (and uncommon) scams that you may encounter online or in real life. Thank you to the many contributors who helped create this thread!

If you know of a scam that is not covered here, write a comment and it will be added to the next edition.

Previous threads: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/search?q=common+scams+master+post&restrict_sr=on
Blackmail email scam thread: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/comments/g8jqnthe_blackmail_email_scam_part_5//
Some of these articles are from small, local publications and refer to the scam happening in a specific area. Do not think that this means that the scam won't happen in your area.

Spoofing

Caller ID spoofing
It is very easy for anyone to make a phone call while having any number show up on the caller ID of the person receiving the phone call. Receiving a phone call from a certain number does not mean that the person/company who owns that number has actually called you.
Email spoofing
The "from" field of an email can be set by the sender, meaning that you can receive scam emails that look like they are from legitimate addresses. It's important to never click links in emails unless absolutely necessary, for example a password reset link you requested or an account activation link for an account you created.
SMS spoofing
SMS messages can be spoofed, so be wary of messages that seem to be from your friends or other trusted people.

The most common scams

The fake check scam (Credit to nimble2 for this part)
The fake check scam arises from many different situations (for instance, you applied for a job, or you are selling something on a place like Craigslist, or someone wants to purchase goods or services from your business, or you were offered a job as a mystery shopper, you were asked to wrap your car with an advertisement, or you received a check in the mail for no reason), but the bottom line is always something like this:
General fraudulent funds scams If somebody is asking you to accept and send out money as a favour or as part of a job, it is a fraudulent funds scam. It does not matter how they pay you, any payment on any service can be fraudulent and will be reversed when it is discovered to be fraudulent.
Phone verification code scams Someone will ask you to receive a verification text and then tell you to give them the code. Usually the code will come from Google Voice, or from Craigslist. In the Google version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Google Voice account that the scammer will use to scam people with. In the Craigslist version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Craigslist posting that the scammer will use to scam people. There is also an account takeover version of this scam that will involve the scammer sending a password reset token to your phone number and asking you for it.
Bitcoin job scams
Bitcoin job scams involve some sort of fraudulent funds transfer, usually a fake check although a fraudulent bank transfer can be used as well. The scammer will send you the fraudulent money and ask you to purchase bitcoins. This is a scam, and you will have zero recourse after you send the scammer bitcoins.
Email flooding
If you suddenly receive hundreds or thousands of spam emails, usually subscription confirmations, it's very likely that one of your online accounts has been taken over and is being used fraudulently. You should check any of your accounts that has a credit card linked to it, preferably from a computer other than the one you normally use. You should change all of your passwords to unique passwords and you should start using two factor authentication everywhere.
Boss/CEO scam A scammer will impersonate your boss or someone who works at your company and will ask you to run an errand for them, which will usually be purchasing gift cards and sending them the code. Once the scammer has the code, you have no recourse.
Employment certification scams
You will receive a job offer that is dependent on you completing a course or receiving a certification from a company the scammer tells you about. The scammer operates both websites and the job does not exist.
Craigslist fake payment scams
Scammers will ask you about your item that you have listed for sale on a site like Craigslist, and will ask to pay you via Paypal. They are scamming you, and the payment in most cases does not actually exist, the email you received was sent by the scammers. In cases where you have received a payment, the scammer can dispute the payment or the payment may be entirely fraudulent. The scammer will then either try to get you to send money to them using the fake funds that they did not send to you, or will ask you to ship the item, usually to a re-shipping facility or a parcel mule.
General fraudulent funds scams The fake check scam is not the only scam that involves accepting fraudulent/fake funds and purchasing items for scammers. If your job or opportunity involves accepting money and then using that money, it is almost certainly a frauduent funds scam. Even if the payment is through a bank transfer, Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, Interac e-Transfer, etc, it does not matter.
Credit card debt scam
Fraudsters will offer to pay off your bills, and will do so with fraudulent funds. Sometimes it will be your credit card bill, but it can be any bill that can be paid online. Once they pay it off, they will ask you to send them money or purchase items for them. The fraudulent transaction will be reversed in the future and you will never be able to keep the money. This scam happens on sites like Craigslist, Twitter, Instagram, and also some dating sites, including SeekingArrangement.
The parcel mule scam
A scammer will contact you with a job opportunity that involves accepting and reshipping packages. The packages are either stolen or fraudulently obtained items, and you will not be paid by the scammer. Here is a news article about a scam victim who fell for this scam and reshipped over 20 packages containing fraudulently acquired goods.
The Skype sex scam
You're on Facebook and you get a friend request from a cute girl you've never met. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. She'll ask you to send pictures or videos or get on webcam where she can see you naked with your face in the picture. The scam: There's no girl. You've sent nudes to a guy pretending to be a girl. As soon as he has the pictures he'll demand money and threaten to send the pictures to your friends and family. Sometimes the scammer will upload the video to a porn site or Youtube to show that they are serious.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: You cannot buy silence, you can only rent it. Paying the blackmailer will show them that the information they have is valuable and they will come after you for more money. Let your friends and family know that you were scammed and tell them to ignore friend requests or messages from people they don't know. Also, make sure your privacy settings are locked down and consider deactivating your account.
The underage girl scam
You're on a dating site or app and you get contacted by a cute girl. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. Eventually she stops communicating and you get a call from a pissed off guy claiming to be the girl's father, or a police officer, or a private investigator, or something else along those lines. Turns out the girl you were sexting is underage, and her parents want some money for various reasons, such as to pay for a new phone, to pay for therapy, etc. There is, of course, no girl. You were communicating with a scammer.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: Stop picking up the phone when the scammers call. Do not pay them, or they will be after you for more money.
Phishing
Phishing is when a scammer tries to trick you into giving information to them, such as your password or private financial information. Phishing messages will usually look very similar to official messages, and sometimes they are identical. If you are ever required to login to a different account in order to use a service, you should be incredibly cautious.
The blackmail email scam The exact wording of the emails varies, but there are generally four main parts. They claim to have placed software/malware on a porn/adult video site, they claim to have a video of you masturbating or watching porn, they threaten to release the video to your friends/family/loved ones/boss/dog, and they demand that you pay them in order for them to delete the video. Rest assured that this is a very common spam campaign and there is no truth behind the email or the threats. Here are some news articles about this scam.
The blackmail mail scam
This is very similar to the blackmail email scam, but you will receive a letter in the mail.
Rental scams Usually on local sites like Craigslist, scammers will steal photos from legitimate real estate listings and will list them for rent at or below market rate. They will generally be hesitant to tell you the address of the property for "safety reasons" and you will not be able to see the unit. They will then ask you to pay them a deposit and they claim they will ship you the keys. In reality, your money is gone and you will have no recourse.
Craigslist vehicle scams A scammer will list a vehicle on Craigslist and will offer to ship you the car. In many cases they will also falsely claim to sell you the car through eBay or Amazon. If you are looking for a car on Craigslist and the seller says anything about shipping the car, having an agent, gives you a long story about why they are selling the car, or the listing price is far too low, you are talking to a scammer and you should ignore and move on.
Advance-fee scam, also known as the 419 scam, or the Nigerian prince scam. You will receive a communication from someone who claims that you are entitled to a large sum of money, or you can help them obtain a large sum of money. However, they will need money from you before you receive the large sum.
Man in the middle scams
Man in the middle scams are very common and very hard to detect. The scammer will impersonate a company or person you are legitimately doing business with, and they will ask you to send the money to one of their own bank accounts or one controlled by a money mule. They have gained access to the legitimate persons email address, so there will be nothing suspicious about the email. To prevent this, make contact in a different way that lets you verify that the person you are talking to is the person you think you are talking to.
Cam girl voting/viewer scam
You will encounter a "cam girl" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to go to their site and sign up with your credit card. They may offer a free show, or ask you to vote for them, or any number of other fake stories.
Amateur porn recruitment scam
You will encounter a "pornstar" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to create an adult film with hehim, but first you need to do something. The story here is usually something to do with verifying your age, or you needing to take an STD test that involves sending money to a site operated by the scammer.
Hot girl SMS spam
You receive a text from a random number with a message along the lines of "Hey babe I'm here in town again if you wanted to meet up this time, are you around?" accompanied by a NSFW picture of a hot girl. It's spam, and they'll direct you to their scam website that requires a credit card.
Identity verification scam
You will encounter someone on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask that you verify your identity as they are worried about catfishing. The scammer operates the site, and you are not talking to whoever you think you are talking to.
This type of scam teases you with something, then tries to make you sign up for something else that costs money. The company involved is often innocent, but they turn a blind eye to the practice as it helps their bottom line, even if they have to occasionally issue refunds. A common variation takes place on dating sites/dating apps, where you will match with someone who claims to be a camgirl who wants you to sign up for a site and vote for her. Another variation takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where the scammers setup fake rental scams and demand that you go through a specific service for a credit check. Once you go through with it, the scammer will stop talking to you. Another variation also takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where scammers will contact you while you are selling a car and will ask you to purchase a Carfax-like report from a specific website.
Multi Level Marketing or Affiliate Marketing
You apply for a vague job listing for 'sales' on craigslist. Or maybe an old friend from high school adds you on Facebook and says they have an amazing business opportunity for you. Or maybe the well dressed guy who's always interviewing people in the Starbucks that you work at asks if you really want to be slinging coffee the rest of your life. The scam: MLMs are little more than pyramid schemes. They involve buying some sort of product (usually snake oil health products like body wraps or supplements) and shilling them to your friends and family. They claim that the really money is recruiting people underneath you who give you a slice of whatever they sell. And if those people underneath you recruit more people, you get a piece of their sales. Ideally if you big enough pyramid underneath you the money will roll in without any work on your part. Failure to see any profit will be your fault for not "wanting it enough." The companies will claim that you need to buy their extra training modules or webinars to really start selling. But in reality, the vast majority of people who buy into a MLM won't see a cent. At the end of the day all you'll be doing is annoying your friends and family with your constant recruitment efforts. What to look out for: Recruiters love to be vague. They won't tell you the name of the company or what exactly the job will entail. They'll pump you up with promises of "self-generating income", "being your own boss", and "owning your own company." They might ask you to read books about success and entrepreneurs. They're hoping you buy into the dream first. If you get approached via social media, check their timelines. MLMs will often instruct their victims to pretend that they've already made it. They'll constantly post about how they're hustling and making the big bucks and linking to youtube videos about success. Again, all very vague about what their job actually entails. If you think you're being recruited: Ask them what exactly the job is. If they can't answer its probably a MLM. Just walk away.

Phone scams

You should generally avoid answering or engaging with random phone calls. Picking up and engaging with a scam call tells the scammers that your phone number is active, and will usually lead to more calls.
Tax Call
You get a call from somebody claiming to be from your countries tax agency. They say you have unpaid taxes that need to be paid immediately, and you may be arrested or have other legal action taken against you if it is not paid. This scam has caused the American IRS, Canadian CRA, British HMRC, and Australian Tax Office to issue warnings. This scam happens in a wide variety of countries all over the world.
Warrant Call
Very similar to the tax call. You'll get a phone call from an "agent", "officer", "sheriff", or other law enforcement officer claiming that there is a warrant out for your arrest and you will be arrested very soon. They will then offer to settle everything for a fee, usually paid in giftcards.
[Legal Documents/Process Server Calls]
Very similar to the warrant call. You'll get a phone call from a scammer claiming that they are going to serve you legal documents, and they will threaten you with legal consequences if you refuse to comply. They may call themselves "investigators", and will sometimes give you a fake case number.
Student Loan Forgiveness Scam
Scammers will call you and tell you about a student loan forgiveness program, but they are interested in obtaining private information about you or demanding money in order to join the fake program.
Tech Support Call You receive a call from someone with a heavy accent claiming to be a technician Microsoft or your ISP. They inform you that your PC has a virus and your online banking and other accounts may be compromised if the virus is not removed. They'll have you type in commands and view diagnostics on your PC which shows proof of the virus. Then they'll have you install remote support software so the technician can work on your PC, remove the virus, and install security software. The cost of the labor and software can be hundreds of dollars. The scam: There's no virus. The technician isn't a technician and does not work for Microsoft or your ISP. Scammers (primarily out of India) use autodialers to cold-call everyone in the US. Any file they point out to you or command they have you run is completely benign. The software they sell you is either freeware or ineffective. What to do you if you're involved with this scam: If the scammers are remotely on your computer as you read this, turn off your PC or laptop via the power button immediately, and then if possible unplug your internet connection. Some of the more vindictive tech scammers have been known to create boot passwords on your computer if they think you've become wise to them and aren't going to pay up. Hang up on the scammers, block the number, and ignore any threats about payment. Performing a system restore on your PC is usually all that is required to remove the scammer's common remote access software. Reports of identity theft from fake tech calls are uncommon, but it would still be a good idea to change your passwords for online banking and monitor your accounts for any possible fraud. How to avoid: Ignore any calls claiming that your PC has a virus. Microsoft will never contact you. If you're unsure if a call claiming to be from your ISP is legit, hang up, and then dial the customer support number listed on a recent bill. If you have elderly relatives or family that isn't tech savvy, take the time to fill them in on this scam.
Chinese government scam
This scam is aimed at Chinese people living in Europe and North America, and involves a voicemail from someone claiming to be associated with the Chinese government, usually through the Chinese consulate/embassy, who is threatening legal action or making general threats.
Chinese shipping scam
This scam is similar to the Chinese government scam, but involves a seized/suspicious package, and the scammers will connect the victim to other scammers posing as Chinese government investigators.
Social security suspension scam
You will receive a call from someone claiming to work for the government regarding suspicious activity, fraud, or serious crimes connected to your social security number. You'll be asked to speak to an operator and the operator will explain the steps you need to follow in order to fix the problems. It's all a scam, and will lead to you losing money and could lead to identity theft if you give them private financial information.
Utilities cutoff
You get a call from someone who claims that they are from your utility company, and they claim that your utilities will be shut off unless you immediately pay. The scammer will usually ask for payment via gift cards, although they may ask for payment in other ways, such as Western Union or bitcoin.
Relative in custody Scammer claims to be the police, and they have your son/daughtenephew/estranged twin in custody. You need to post bail (for some reason in iTunes gift cards or MoneyGram) immediately or the consequences will never be the same.
Mexican family scam
This scam comes in many different flavours, but always involves someone in your family and Mexico. Sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been detained, sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been kidnapped, and sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member is injured and needs help.
General family scams
Scammers will gather a large amount of information about you and target your family members using different stories with the goal of gettimg them to send money.
One ring scam
Scammers will call you from an international number with the goal of getting you to return their call, causing you to incur expensive calling fees.

Online shopping scams

THE GOLDEN RULE OF ONLINE SHOPPING: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Dropshipping
An ad on reddit or social media sites like Facebook and Instagram offers items at huge discounts or even free (sometimes requiring you to reblog or like their page). They just ask you to pay shipping. The scam: The item will turn out to be very low quality and will take weeks or even months to arrive. Sometimes the item never arrives, and the store disappears or stops responding. The seller drop-ships the item from China. The item may only cost a few dollars, and the Chinese government actually pays for the shipping. You end up paying $10-$15 dollars for a $4 item, with the scammer keeping the profit. If you find one of these scams but really have your heart set on the item, you can find it on AliExpress or another Chinese retailer.
Influencer scams
A user will reach out to you on a social media platform, usually Instagram, and offer you the chance to partner with them and receive a free/discounted product, as long as you pay shipping. This is a different version of the dropshipping scam, and is just a marketing technique to get you to buy their products.
Triangulation fraud
Triangulation fraud occurs when you make a purchase on a site like Amazon or eBay for an item at a lower than market price, and receive an item that was clearly purchased new at full price. The scammer uses a stolen credit card to order your item, while the money from the listing is almost all profit for the scammer.
Instagram influencer scams
Someone will message you on Instagram asking you to promote their products, and offering you a discount code. The items are Chinese junk, and the offer is made to many people at a time.
Cheap Items
Many websites pop up and offer expensive products, including electronics, clothes, watches, sunglasses, and shoes at very low prices. The scam: Some sites are selling cheap knock-offs. Some will just take your money and run. What to do if you think you're involved with this scam: Contact your bank or credit card and dispute the charge. How to avoid: The sites often have every brand-name shoe or fashion item (Air Jordan, Yeezy, Gucci, etc) in stock and often at a discounted price. The site will claim to be an outlet for a major brand or even a specific line or item. The site will have images at the bottom claiming to be Secured by Norton or various official payment processors but not actual links. The site will have poor grammar and a mish-mash of categories. Recently, established websites will get hacked or their domain name jacked and turned into scam stores, meaning the domain name of the store will be completely unrelated to the items they're selling. If the deal sounds too good to be true it probably is. Nobody is offering brand new iPhones or Beats or Nintendo Switches for 75% off.
Cheap Amazon 3rd Party Items
You're on Amazon or maybe just Googling for an item and you see it for an unbelievable price from a third-party seller. You know Amazon has your back so you order it. The scam: One of three things usually happen: 1) The seller marks the items as shipped and sends a fake tracking number. Amazon releases the funds to the seller, and the seller disappears. Amazon ultimately refunds your money. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to re-order the item directly from their website, usually with the guarantee that the order is still protected by Amazon. The seller takes your money and runs. Amazon informs you that they do not offer protection on items sold outside of Amazon and cannot help you. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to instead send payment via an unused Amazon gift card by sending the code on the back via email. Once the seller uses the code, the money on the card is gone and cannot be refunded. How to avoid: These scammers can be identified by looking at their Amazon storefronts. They'll be brand new sellers offering a wide range of items at unbelievable prices. Usually their Amazon names will be gibberish, or a variation on FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME. Occasionally however, established storefronts will be hacked. If the deal is too good to be true its most likely a scam.
Scams on eBay
There are scams on eBay targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who privately message you regarding the order, especially if they ask you to ship to a different address or ask to negotiate via text/email/a messaging service. As a buyer you should look out for new accounts selling in-demand items, established accounts selling in-demand items that they have no previous connection to (you can check their feedback history for a general idea of what they bought/sold in the past), and lookout for people who ask you to go off eBay and use another service to complete the transaction. In many cases you will receive a fake tracking number and your money will be help up for up to a month.
Scams on Amazon
There are scams on Amazon targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who message you about a listing. As a buyer you should look out for listings that have an email address for you to contact the person to complete the transaction, and you should look out for cheap listings of in-demand items.
Scams on Reddit
Reddit accounts are frequently purchased and sold by fraudsters who wish to use the high karma count + the age of the account to scam people on buy/sell subreddits. You need to take precautions and be safe whenever you are making a transaction online.
Computer scams
Virus scam
A popup or other ad will say that you have a virus and you need to follow their advice in order to remove it. They are lying, and either want you to install malware or pay for their software.

Assorted scams

Chinese Brushing / direct shipping
If you have ever received an unsolicited small package from China, your address was used to brush. Vendors place fake orders for their own products and send out the orders so that they can increase their ratings.
Money flipping
Scammer claims to be a banking insider who can double/triple/bazoople any amount of money you send them, with no consequences of any kind. Obviously, the money disappears into their wallet the moment you send it.

Door to door scams

As a general rule, you should not engage with door to door salesmen. If you are interested in the product they are selling, check online first.
Selling Magazines
Someone or a group will come to your door and offer to sell a magazine subscription. Often the subscriptions are not for the duration or price you were told, and the magazines will often have tough or impossible cancellation policies.
Energy sales
Somebody will come to your door claiming to be from an energy company. They will ask to see your current energy bill so that they can see how much you pay. They will then offer you a discount if you sign up with them, and promise to handle everything with your old provider. Some of these scammers will "slam" you, by using your account number that they saw on your bill to switch you to their service without authorization, and some will scam you by charging higher prices than the ones you agreed on.
Security system scams
Scammers will come to your door and ask about your security system, and offer to sell you a new one. These scammers are either selling you overpriced low quality products, or are casing your home for a future burglary.
They ask to enter your home
While trying to sell you whatever, they suddenly need to use your bathroom, or they've been writing against the wall and ask to use your table instead. Or maybe they just moved into the neighborhood and want to see how you decorate for ideas.
They're scoping out you and your place. They want to see what valuables you have, how gullible you are, if you have a security system or dogs, etc.

Street scams

Begging With a Purpose
"I just need a few more dollars for the bus," at the bus station, or "I just need $5 to get some gas," at a gas station. There's also a variation where you will be presented with a reward: "I just need money for a cab to get uptown, but I'll give you sports tickets/money/a date/a priceless vase."
Three Card Monte, Also Known As The Shell Game
Unbeatable. The people you see winning are in on the scam.
Drop and Break
You bump into someone and they drop their phone/glasses/fancy bottle of wine/priceless vase and demand you pay them back. In reality, it's a $2 pair of reading glasses/bottle of three-buck-chuck/tasteful but affordable vase.
CD Sales
You're handed a free CD so you can check out the artist's music. They then ask for your name and immediately write it on the CD. Once they've signed your name, they ask you for money, saying they can't give it to someone else now. Often they use dry erase markers, or cheap CD sleeves. Never use any type of storage device given to you by a random person, as the device can contain malware.
White Van Speaker Scam
You're approached and offered speakers/leather jackets/other luxury goods at a discount. The scammer will have an excuse as to why the price is so low. After you buy them, you'll discover that they are worthless.
iPhone Street Sale
You're approached and shown an iPhone for sale, coming in the box, but it's open and you can see the phone. If you buy the phone, you'll get an iPhone box with no iPhone, just some stones or cheap metal in it to weigh it down.
Buddhist Monk Pendant
A monk in traditional garb approaches you, hands you a gold trinket, and asks for a donation. He holds either a notebook with names and amounts of donation (usually everyone else has donated $5+), or a leaflet with generic info. This is fairly common in NYC, and these guys get aggressive quickly.
Friendship Bracelet Scam More common in western Europe, you're approached by someone selling bracelets. They quickly wrap a loop of fabric around your finger and pull it tight, starting to quickly weave a bracelet. The only way to (easily) get it off your hand is to pay. Leftover sales
This scam involves many different items, but the idea is usually the same: you are approached by someone who claims to have a large amount of excess inventory and offers to sell it to you at a great price. The scammer actually has low quality items and will lie to you about the price/origin of the items.
Dent repair scams
Scammers will approach you in public about a dent in your car and offer to fix it for a low price. Often they will claim that they are mechanics. They will not fix the dent in your car, but they will apply large amounts of wax or other substances to hide the dent while they claim that the substance requires time to harden.
Gold ring/jewelry/valuable item scam
A scammer will "find" a gold ring or other valuable item and offers to sell it to you. The item is fake and you will never see the scammer again.
Distraction theft
One person will approach you and distract you, while their accomplice picks your pockets. The distraction can take many forms, but if you are a tourist and are approached in public, watch closely for people getting close to you.

General resources

Site to report scams in the United Kingdom: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
Site to report scams in the United States: https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
Site to report scams in Canada: www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/reportincident-signalerincident/index-eng.htm
Site to report scams in Europe: https://www.europol.europa.eu/report-a-crime/report-cybercrime-online
FTC scam alerts: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts
Microsoft's anti-scam guide: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/safety/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx
https://www.usa.gov/common-scams-frauds
https://www.usa.gov/scams-and-frauds
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts
https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-fraud-schemes
submitted by EugeneBYMCMB to Scams [link] [comments]

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